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NFL hires first full-time female official Sarah Thomas

Sarah Thomas is one of nine first-year NFL officials

The NFL roster of game officials for the 2015 season will include nine first-year NFL officials, the
league announced Wednesday.

The nine first-year NFL officials are graduates of the NFL Officiating Development program, which
trains top college football officials in all aspects of NFL officiating. They will be on the field at team
OTA sessions next month.

SARAH THOMAS will join the NFL as a line judge after officiating in Conference USA since 2007.
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. SHANNON EASTIN, an official in the Mid-Eastern
Athletic Conference, served as a line judge for the first three games of the 2012 NFL season.


Thomas worked New Orleans Saints 2013 training camp in Metairie as part of the National Football League's Officiating Development Program.

Also included among the nine is side judge WALT COLEMAN IV, the son of the dean of NFL officials,
referee WALT COLEMAN, who will enter his 27th season in 2015. Coleman and Coleman IV will
become the third active father-son officiating duo, joining ED and SHAWN HOCHULI and STEVE and

"Our incoming officials have all demonstrated that they are among the best in college football," said
NFL Vice President of Officiating DEAN BLANDINO. "We are excited about having them join us."

Photos of NFL’s Officiating Development Program member Sarah Thomas working a New Orleans Saints practice on Thursday, August 1, 2013.

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