Texas Tech University

Brad Rogers Traveled a Demanding Path to the NFL

Texas Tech faculty member teaches classes at Rawls College during the week and serves as a National Football League referee on Sundays.

Doug Hensley | May 7, 2024

One of the few ways Brad Rogers knows whether he's done a good job or not is if no one notices the job he did.

Counterintuitive? Welcome to the rarified air of Mr. Rogers' neighborhood.

In a few months, Rogers will begin his eighth season as a National Football League official. He not only has a full-time job as a senior lecturer in the Jerry S. Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University, but he also is one a very small number of people on the planet who works as an NFL referee (one of seven positions on a crew) each week during the season.

He sees this as both the adventure and privilege of a lifetime.

“There is something special about it; I can't say it isn't fun because it is a blast,” he said. “I pinch myself every time I am on the field. I feel so fortunate whenever I go to an NFL stadium to work a game.”

NFL officials are not permitted to publicly discuss many of the intricacies of their work, such as specific calls and interactions. These limitations come with the territory, and it is a workplace expectation Rogers happily accommodates. 

But he can talk about his journey to the world's most successful and visible sports league, and he does so with a guarded sense of accomplishment one might expect from a person who has access to places and people most only view through the magic of television.

The side gig has cachet with Rogers' students. They see him on TV explaining calls that go for or against their favorite teams, and sometimes, well, inquiring minds want to know.

“Students will ask about things from games,” he said. “I don't get into any particulars, and most of the questions come from games I never even saw.”

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