Foxborough, Mass. — Mike Carey will become the first black referee in Super Bowl history.
Carey, in his 18th year as an official, was notified by the NFL office this week he had the assignment for the Feb. 3 game in Glendale, Ariz.
The NFL will not officially announce the assignments until the week of the Super Bowl.
Super Bowl officials are chosen on merit, with the highest ranked at each position getting the assignment. Carey, who runs a skiing accessories company, has been among the NFL's top crew chiefs for a decade and has been a Super Bowl alternate, but never the referee.
Black officials have been increasing in number over the years. This season there were 26 on the 17 crews, a single-season high.
They also have been well-represented in the Super Bowl at other officiating spots. Among them was Burl Toler, who worked several early games.