The NFL roster of game officials for the 2015 season will include nine first-year NFL officials, the league announced today.
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.
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 BRAD FREEMAN.
"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."
The nine first-year NFL officials:
2014 College Conference
Western New England
Walt Coleman IV
University of Mobile
The complete 2015 NFL roster of officials, including crew assignments, will be announced next month.