Sarah Thomas Will Become 1st Woman in NFL History to Officiate a Super Bowl

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 19, 2021

Down Judge Sarah Thomas during the second half of an NFL football game between the Los Angeles Chargers and the Denver Broncos Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)
Kelvin Kuo/Associated Press

The NFL announced Tuesday that Sarah Thomas will be part of the officiating crew in Super Bowl LV, making her the first woman to officiate a Super Bowl.    

Thomas will be the down judge, with Carl Cheffers serving as the referee:

NFL Officiating @NFLOfficiating

The #SBLV crew: • Carl Cheffers (R) • Fred Bryan (U) • Sarah Thomas (DJ) • Rusty Baynes (LJ) • James Coleman (FJ) • Eugene Hall (SJ) • Dino Paganelli (BJ) • Mike Wimmer (RO) Sarah makes history as the first woman to officiate in a Super Bowl. https://t.co/EVvz45QgFx https://t.co/tDvWZPx9JG

NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent Sr. said the following regarding Thomas' Super Bowl assignment: "Sarah Thomas has made history again as the first female Super Bowl official. Her elite performance and commitment to excellence has earned her the right to officiate the Super Bowl. Congratulations to Sarah on this well-deserved honor."

The 47-year-old Thomas has been a permanent NFL official since 2015, making her the first woman in NFL history to accomplish that feat as well.

She has four games of playoff experience to her credit and became the first woman to officiate a playoff game during the 2018 season when she was part of the crew that called the New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles Chargers AFC Divisional Round game.

Before making the move to the NFL, Thomas officiated college football in Conference USA and spent time officiating in the United Football League in 2010.   

Super Bowl LV will be contested Feb. 7 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, with the winner of the AFC Championship Game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills facing the winner of the NFC Championship Game between the Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.