Alberto Riveron is officiating director

NEW YORK -- The NFL has promoted Alberto Riveron, the league's first Hispanic referee, to senior director of officiating.

Riveron was born in Cuba and moved to Miami with his family at age 5. He became a referee in 2008 after serving four seasons as a side judge.

The 52-year-old Riveron takes the newly created position as second in command of the department under new vice president of officiating Dean Blandino.

"Al did a tremendous job as a referee and was quickly able to earn the respect of the players and coaches," Blandino said Tuesday. "His on-field experience will be an asset for us as we strive to improve the consistency and quality of our officiating program."

In his new job, Riveron will oversee the NFL's instant replay program and assist Blandino in assignment and evaluation of officials, and developing and distributing weekly training videos and other materials to improve accuracy and consistency.

Riveron joins NFL Network vice president of human resources Andres Astralaga and Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera among Hispanics in high-ranking NFL positions.

Riveron began officiating in Miami youth leagues in 1977. He made his college officiating debut in 1990, working primarily in the Big East and Conference USA.

Since 2004, Riveron has worked as an assistant to the Conference USA supervisor of officials. He also spent 13 years as a program coordinator in the Miami-Dade County public schools.

Riveron's last refereeing assignment was in Houston's wild-card victory over Cincinnati last month. He also worked the AFC championship game last year in which New England defeated Baltimore.