- First Female NFL Referee
Sarah Thomas is currently an official for the NFL. On April 8, 2015, Sarah Thomas was one of nine new game officials added to the NFL officiating roster for the 2015 season, becoming the first-full time female official in NFL history. Her history making game happened on September 13th between Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans. Her hat, whistle and flag from that game are now on display at the NFL Football Hall of Fame.
Thomas’s football officiating career began in the 1996 when she attended a meeting for aspiring football officials with her brother, Lea. She was the first female to officiate in a Division 1-A high school football game in Mississippi.
She began officiating at the college level when she was hired by Conference USA in 2007 and has officiated as a line judge and head linesman during her collegiate career.
Thomas was the first female selected to officiate a bowl game when in she took the field in Detroit for the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in 2009. In addition, she has been selected two times to officiate the Under Armor Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, as well as the 2013 Fight Hunger Bowl, the 2015 Medal of Honor Bowl, and the Conference USA Championship game in 2010 and 2014.
Off the field, Thomas works as a pharmaceutical representative. She was born in Pascagoula, Mississippi and is a graduate of the University of Mobile after earning a full scholarship as a basketball player, and Academic All-American honors. While these are great accomplishments, nothing compares to her being a mom to her 3 beautiful children, Bridley 15, Brady 12 and Bailey 3.