ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — When Greece native Jim Eckl got word that he’ll be working the college football playoff national championship game, his friends and family got pretty excited.

“Oh my God it’s non-stop,” said Eckl. “When people find out and they see me, everyone is coming up to me and congratulating me. They say they got chills.”

The 2023 College Football National Championship will take place Monday, January 9th at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, California. The No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs will look to repeat as national champions when they face No. 3 TCU on Monday night.

The Atlantic Coastal Conference officiating crew, which Eckl is a member of, was given the assignment of the national championship game. Eckl has officiated big college football games in the past such as the 2020 Army-Navy game.

“Just give your chills to watch those guys come out,” said Eckl. “It’s a really cool experience.”

He’s also umpired the 2017 Rose Bowl between Penn State and USC that featured current New York Giant running back Saquon Barkley. But never the grand finale.

“Now that I’ve gotten that game, it’s like wow,” said Eckl. “This is pretty cool.”

Eckl isn’t the only local official to work a national championship game. West-Henrietta’s Jeffrey Anderson, recently refereed this past year’s college basketball big game.

Eckl along with Anderson are just one of the many Rochester officials on the big stage.

“We had Bill Schuster who was in the NFL for years,” said Eckl. “We probably have four or five guys in Rochester that worked Division I football. You know nobody really knows that.”

Eckl’s official title is an umpire which is located right behind the linebackers on the defensive side of the ball. As an umpire, Eckl is looking for penalties such as holding, illegal blocks, and hands to the face.

“My keys are the center and the two guards and I read off of that like a linebacker would,” said Eckl. “They’re going to tell me what this play is going to be, ‘Is it going to be a run or is it going to be a pass?’.

The Greece resident began his career officiating Pop Warner football. From there, Eckl did freshman and JV high school football before advancing to varsity high school football for 18 years.

“Somebody reached out to me and said what about college?” said Eckl. “So I applied and got in. I did Division III for three years and I was like this is pretty cool.”

After spending a short amount of time at the Division III level, Eckl moved up to the FCS level, formerly known as Division I-AA, where he spent five years in the Atlantic 10 conference. He then jumped to the FBS level officiating games in the Big East conference for another five years.

“Everything was going well then the Big East imploded,” said Eckl. “Syracuse went to the ACC. As soon as that happened I applied to the ACC. This is my 11th year in the conference.”

Eckl will be bringing his son, son-in-law and three of his closest friends to the national championship at SoFi stadium.

“I think they’re more excited than I am,” said Eckl.