NFL hire first full-time female official

Sarah Thomas has been confirmed as the first full-time official in the history of the NFL.

The 42-year-old is one of nine first-year officials who are  graduates of the NFL Officiating Development program, which trains top college football officials in all aspects of NFL officiating.

Mississippi-native Thomas joins the NFL as a line judge after officiating in Conference USA since 2007.

“Our incoming officials have all demonstrated that they are among the best in college football,” NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino said in a statement. “We are excited about having them join us.”

University of Mobile graduate Thomas  is the first female to be assigned full-time to an NFL officiating crew and will be the second female to officiate in a regular-season NFL game.


In 2012, Shannon Eastin, an official in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, served as a line judge for the first three games.