Michael “Mike” Carey is an American football official in the National Football League (NFL) since the 1990 NFL season. He began officiating football in 1972 working Pop Warner football games in the San Diego, California area. Later in 1985, he joined the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). Carey was hired by the NFL in 1990 as a side judge before being promoted to referee for the start of the 1995 NFL season. He was the second African-American official to become a referee after Johnny Grier in 1988. Mike served as an alternate referee for Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002. Of all the active referees in the NFL, Carey has ejected the most players. On the field, he wears the uniform number 94.
On October 3, 2005, Mike and his brother, Don, an NFL official as well (back judge), became the first brothers to officiate an NFL game together when they were assigned on the same officiating crew for the game between the Carolina Panthers and Green Bay Packers.
Carey was the ref during the January 7, 2006 NFC wild card playoff game between the Washington Redskins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Late in the game, he ejected Redskin defensive back Sean Taylor for spitting at Bucs running back Michael Pittman. Pittman slapped Taylor in retaliation, but was not punished for it.
Outside of football, Carey is also a co-owner of Seirus Innovation, a privately held company that manufactures ski and snowboarding gloves, face protection, and other cold-weather accessories. He is an inventor who owns or shares eight ski apparel patents, including “Cat Tracks,” a protective device which he created at age 30 to slip over the sole of a ski boot, preventing damage away from the ski run. Mike’s wife, Wendy, is the Chief Financial Officer of Seirus.
Carey was a college football running back for Santa Clara University and suffered an ankle injury which affects his ability to run. Today, Carey limits himself to running on the days he is scheduled to officiate games.
Mike and Wendy have two daughters, Drisana and Danica, and currently reside in San Diego, California.