NFL Hires Sarah Thomas as First Full-time Female Official

In this Wednesday edition of Niners Daily, we pass along an announcement that marks a historic first in professional football.

The NFL released a list of nine new officials for the 2015 season, including the first female to be assigned full-time to an NFL officiating crew.

Sarah Thomas, a graduate of the NFL Officiating Development program who spent eight seasons refereeing Division I football for Conference USA, will serve as a line judge this fall.

Thomas was also the first female official on the FBS level and the first to officiate a bowl game. She has previously worked NFL preseason games, the Senior Bowl and two Conference USA Championship games as well.

Shannon Eastin was the first female to referee a regular-season NFL game in any capacity. She did so in 2012 as a replacement official.

All nine new officials will be on the field at various team OTA sessions in May.

"I set out to do this and get involved in officiating not having any idea that there were not any females officiating football," Thomas told NFL AM. "Being a former basketball player, you saw females officiating all the time, so I don't feel like a pioneer.

"I know that a lot of people, a lot of females are maybe inspired that there's a gender barrier that has been broken, but I never sat out to shatter the glass ceiling."

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