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CapFed® Team Member Takes the Field

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David Oliver, Technical Service Manager at Capitol Federal®, is a proud referee for the National Football League (NFL). For more than 30 years, David officiated football games before being selected to join the NFL Officials Development Program (ODP). Recently, we sat down with David to discuss his experience refereeing and his journey to becoming an NFL Official.

How did you get the opportunity to officiate NFL football?

In 1986, a friend invited me to attend a Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) meeting, and that’s when I decided to begin officiating high school football. I thought it would be a great way to stay involved in football and also make some extra spending money. In 2000, I began refereeing in Division I Big XII and SEC. My supervisor in the Big XII was also a NFL referee. He recommended I be considered for a position in the NFL. I received an invitation to fly to New York to interview for a position, and in 2016, I was invited to join the NFL Officials Development Program (OPD). Nearly ten years had passed since my initial interview, I thought my chance for becoming an NFL official had passed. I was in the ODP for one year before being hired in 2017.

What are some of the most memorable moments you’ve had refereeing NFL games?

My first assignment was the New Orleans Saints at the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football. That was the most nervous I had felt during an opening kickoff of a regular season game. I quickly learned the speed of the game and the intensity of the players. It was like nothing I had experienced in college or the four preseason games. There was a lot of adrenaline pumping through me.

My favorite game I officiated was the Cincinnati Bengals at the Green Bay Packers.  My mother, who is 85, went to the game along with my two sisters and my wife. It was incredibly special to have my mom there in the stands watching me work in the NFL. I was thrilled to have her there, it’s one game I will always remember.

Do you have a favorite NFL player?

As an official, I don’t have the luxury of watching the games like a fan so, I wouldn’t say I have a favorite player.

Do you have any goals for your NFL Officiating career?

My first year refereeing was the most challenging and difficult year, but also the most exciting and rewarding. Being the best official on every single play is my goal. My favorite moments are when I make the right call on a difficult play. If I give it my best on every play, by the end of the season, I can position myself to be considered for post-season assignments. My ultimate goal is to referee for the Super Bowl. The referees I work with are the most dedicated and hard-working men I know. They are devoted to the sport and are really good at what they do during every game.

How you do balance officiating NFL games with your work at CapFed®? 

Officiating in the NFL is a huge commitment year round. Throughout the season, my schedule is hectic, with family, work and officiating. During the off season, which runs from February – July, I utilize my time studying rules and the mechanics of the game on evenings and weekends. We also have three hour conference calls in the evening. There are preseason tests, that start the first of March, and we can complete them on our own time. Once preseason scrimmages and games start, time management is key.

David is a valued member of the CapFed® family, as well as the NFL. We are happy he is a part of our winning team! 

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Tom Dobelbower

David is a real asset to CapFed and the NFL.

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