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Albuquerque’s Land Clark promoted to NFL referee

Albuquerque resident Land Clark, shown during a 2019 NFL game, was promoted to referee Tuesday after serving the two previous years as a field judge. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Land Clark is going to see his next NFL game from a different perspective while wearing a different-colored cap.

The Albuquerque resident is being promoted from field judge to referee, the league announced on its website Tuesday.

Clark, reached at his job for the City of Albuquerque as chief building official, confirmed the move but otherwise declined comment.

Numerous reports said Clark is replacing as a “white hat” two-time Super Bowl official Walt Anderson, who is leaving the field to take a senior vice president position in the league office.

The league announced a handful of additions to its 122-person officiating roster as well. Clark, who spent the last two seasons as an NFL field judge, was the only promotion to referee.

The other moves the NFL announced on Tuesday were the hirings of side judge Tra Blake, field judge Joe Blubaugh, line judge Mike Dolce, deep judge Frank LeBlanc, side judge Clay Reynard and umpire Tab Slaughter.

Clark previously worked as a referee for Pac-12 football. He also had officiated the New Year’s Day 2018 national semifinal between Alabama and Clemson in New Orleans, Ohio State’s semifinal win over the Crimson Tide on the first day of College Football Playoff semifinals in 2014, and the national championship game following the 2012 season between the Tide and Notre Dame, among other big games.

Clark has lived in Albuquerque since 1988, and through the years, he has worked everything from YAFL and prep games to NCAA Division II Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference contests, to Mountain West, Big 12 and even pro indoor football games here in town.

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