Last Wednesday the NFL released their roster of game officials for the upcoming NFL season, which included nine first year NFL officials.  The NFL also made history by hiring the first full time women to an NFL officiating crew in Sarah Thomas.

A veteran official from conference USA since 2007, Thomas will be a line judge on her first NFL assignment.  She is the second female to Shannon Eastin who was a line judge for three games in 2012.

All 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.  For warm up sessions the NFL has these officials on the field during clubs OTA’s (organized team activities) next month.

The NFL also announced their third active father-son officiating duo, side judge Walt Coleman IV, the son of the high ranking and always consistent NFL officials, referee Walt Coleman entering his 27th season.  The other father-son combinations involve Ed & Shawn Hochuli  and Steve & Brad Freeman.

Quotes and follow data provided by NFL Communications/NFL Media “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 complete roster of the nine first-year NFL officials:


Uniform No. Name Position College 2014 College Conference
16 Kevin Codey LJ Western New England AAC
87 Walt Coleman IV SJ Southern Methodist Big 12
94 Hugo Cruz HL Texas-Pan American C-USA
2 Bart Longson HL Brigham Young PAC-12
19 Clay Martin U Tulsa C-USA
50 Aaron Santi SJ Southern Oregon PAC-12
14 Shawn Smith FJ Ferris State BIG 10
53 Sarah Thomas LJ University of Mobile C-USA
26 Jabir Walker SJ Murray State SEC