The Full Wiki

More info on Sarah Thomas (American football official)

Sarah Thomas (American football official): Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...

More interesting facts on Sarah Thomas (American football official)

Include this on your site/blog:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sarah Thomas (born 1973) is a college football official who became the first woman to officiate a bowl game when she worked as a line judge during the 2009 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl between Marshall and Ohio.


Officiating career


Early years

Thomas began her officiating career in 1996, when she attended a meeting of the Gulf Coast Football Officials Association. She worked her first varsity high school game in 1999.[1]

Conference USA

In 2006, Gerry Austin, Conference USA's coordinator of officials and a former NFL official, invited her to an officials' camp. Austin was impressed with her skills and hired her for the Conference USA staff.[1] In 2007, Thomas became the first woman to officiate a major college football game, working a game between Memphis and Jacksonville State.[2] Before that game, Austin said, "She came highly recommended by two NFL scouts. She has a good presence and demeanor. I feel like she has the ability and courage to make a call, and the guts to not make one, too."[2]

2009 season, bowl-game breakthrough

By the 2009 season, she was assigned to a crew and working a full schedule of 11 games.[3] At the end of the season, she was selected to work the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, making her the first woman to officiate a bowl game.[2] Regarding her presence, game MVP Martin Ward, Marshall running back, said "I noticed her before the game, but that was it. Once the game started, she was just doing the job that the line judge does in every game we play. It didn’t matter that she was a woman at all."[4]

As of 2009, she was one of five female officials in major college football and the only one at the Football Bowl Subdivision level.[3] She is also listed as a prospective candidate for officials in the National Football League[4] and has worked New Orleans Saints scrimmages.[5]

Personal life

Thomas was born in 1973[1][3] in Mississippi.[1] She attended Pascagoula High School, where she lettered five times in softball. She attended the University of Mobile on a basketball scholarship and was an academic all-American.[1]

Thomas resides in Brandon, Mississippi and is married with two children. She works as a pharmaceutical sales representative.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e Drape, Joe (September 18, 2009). "Earning Her Stripes in College Football". New York Times. Retrieved December 30, 2009.  
  2. ^ a b c "Thomas will become first female referee in top tier of college football", September 14, 2007, from the AP newswire, via Accessed December 27, 2009.
  3. ^ a b c Walker, Teresa M. (November 27, 2009). "Thomas shows the way for female referees". Associated Press, via Retrieved December 30, 2009.  
  4. ^ a b c "At Pizza Bowl, Thomas 1st woman to officiate bowl", from the AP newswire, via Yahoo! Sports, accessed December 27, 2009.
  5. ^ Busby, Renee (October 1, 2009). "University of Mobile alum first woman to referee I-A football". Retrieved December 30, 2009.  


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address