FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Bill Vinovich, who has been part of notable games with the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks this season, has been assigned as the referee for Super Bowl XLIX between the teams.
Since 2012, the Seahawks are 5-0 in games in which Vinovich has been referee, including a 24-14 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Dec. 4, 2014. Meanwhile, Vinovich was the referee for the Patriots' 35-31 victory over the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round of the playoffs when the Patriots declared an eligible receiver ineligible three different times, which led Ravens coach John Harbaugh to take an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. In games refereed by Vinovich, the Patriots are 4-1 (2-0 playoffs), while the Seahawks are 7-1 overall, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
While Vinovich first started working NFL games in 2001, this is just his ninth year because he took a leave for a few years between then and now. He first entered the league as a side judge and was promoted to referee in 2004. He has officiated in five playoff games and was the alternate referee for Super Bowl XLVIII.
Vinovich will be working alongside a crew of some of the highest-rated officials at their respective positions. To be eligible for the Super Bowl, officials must have at least five years of NFL experience and previous playoff assignments.
Vinovich's crew for the Super Bowl consists of umpire Bill Schuster, head linesman Dana McKenzie, line judge Mark Perlman, field judge Bob Waggoner, side judge Tom Hill and back judge Terrence Miles.