Thomas 47 placed a phone call to the man who first hired her for the college. Ranks.She was emotional when she was telling me gerald austin, a former nfl official and head of officiating for conference usa told the post and the first thing i told her was look. You’Ve worked hard, you’ve had obstacles to overcome and you’ve earned it don’t. Let anybody tell you differently: i’m, proud of you. It has been a relatively meteoric rise for thomas, a mississippi native and mother of two teen boys and a young daughter. She entered the league in 2015 becoming the first full time female official and has continued to break gender barriers across the sport. In 2019. She officiated her first nfl playoff game.i say that all the time people think that sarah thomas just arrived on april 8 of 2015, but there’s. So much more to my story and that’s like with anyone, she told bridge the gap. A healthcare focused podcast every one of us have a story, and yes, i’m sitting here. Talking about all the good stuff, i mean there’s been many valleys that i’ve gone through.she was born into a sports family. Her paternal uncle was drafted by the pittsburgh pirates and her aunt jill upton coached, the 1973 usa world university games, basketball team, a squad that included legendary tennessee coach, pat summitt thomas, who has two brothers played college hoops at the university of mobile alabama, then joined a Local men’s league, but she said after three years she got the boot because she was female at the time.
Her older brother was officiating high school football and convinced her to attend a meeting with him. But there was a warning. She has said her brother told her sis. These are a bunch of old men set in their ways. You’Re going to get a few strange stares. I was like it’s all right. I can handle it. The man in charge asked if she was someone’s. Wife then tried to steer her toward officiating women’s hoops but thomas who was also a pharmaceutical rep, dug in her heels and started wearing zebra stripes in 1996 officiating. Her first varsity game in 1999.she, even continued throughout two pregnancies, working the clock and off field, but still a credited position, but around the decade mark she considered giving it up. According to the podcast.then austin called.austin, who has officiated three super bowls. First heard the name. Sarah thomas from another former nfl official, joe haynes, who was working as a scout dot, he said i have an official. I think you should take a look at austin said i said what’s his name. Haines responded. His name is sarah dot on hane’s recommendation. Austin hired thomas after a 45 minute conversation, but he also wanted to see thomas on the field, so he got her into a camp in reno. Nev.I saw her work that camp of the 18 people at her position. I had her in the top three. She had. What i call cfs common football sense, you can’t teach that she just needed.
Some college experience said austin, who has remained a mentor dot. I remember him telling me that i was going to have to put my hair up under the hat and then wear little or no makeup, and i told gerald he was crossing the line with the makeup. She said with the laugh, though she understood he wanted her to fly under the radar, so she’d tuck her hair into a fitted hat. Now she wears a snapback hat with her ponytail pulled through daughter colleague, lee catherine collins said that was emblematic of thomas, whom she describes, as hilarious, capable and down to earth.she also proved her toughness in 2016 when she broke her wrist during a vikings, packers, matchup and Returned to finish out the game.i’ve seen other officials challenge her once or twice and she is very competitive. Austin said she is one of the guys and i think, that’s an appropriate way to describe her dot overall there’s, an overwhelming sense of pride for austin and for her colleagues collins said. The company made a tribute video to air during the local broadcast of the big game that she will probably die if she knew. I was saying this, but she is an inspiration to girls. She works hard and we need to celebrate the whole person. Colin said.thomas told the nfl network that the assignment was meaningful.i, never set out to be the first in any of this she said, but knowing the impact that i am having on not just my daughter but young girls everywhere women everywhere, when i get on that field And i take it all in.