GLENDALE, Ariz. – History will be made during Saturday night’s preseason game between the Arizona Cardinals and Kansas City Chiefs when Sarah Thomas makes her debut as the NFL’s first full-time female official.
She was hired in April and will be part of referee Pete Morelli’s crew.
However, Thomas won’t be the first female to officiate an NFL game. That distinction goes to Shannon Eastin, who was a replacement ref during the 2012 officials lockout.
Here are five things to know about Thomas:
Thomas was the first woman to officiate a major college football game when she was hired by Conference USA, and the first to officiate a bowl game when she worked the 2009 Little Caesars Bowl.
Thomas, who began officiating grade-school games and then moved up to high schools, was part of the NFL's development program and she officiated preseason games, including Chip Kelly's first exhibition as Eagles head coach.
Thomas and her husband, Brian, have three children -- sons Bridley and Brady and daughter Bailey.
Thomas' two brothers are college football officials.
She has a full-time job as a pharmaceutical sales rep.