Sarah Thomas Bio: NFL Officiating, Family & Net Worth

The pages in history are all adorned with golden ink. Especially in sports, every individual has their own significant charm.

Similarly, Sarah Thomas is not an unusual figure for breaking gender stereotypes. She will officially be the first woman to officiate in Super Bowl. 

Currently, Sarah is a power-packed football official (referee) featuring in the National Football League.

What’s more amazing is not that she is a lady official but the fact that she has been the first lady official on many occasions. 

It’s normal when you flip your channels; you come across many football officials. However, they are mostly males; it hits a special feeling when you see females in that arena.

Actually, Thomas was the foremost woman to appear in the major college football as an official, followed by big games like the bowl game and Big Ten Stadium. 

If we talk about her historical feats, there are abundant of them ever since her 2015 full-time work to the recent 2019 playoff games.

Sarah Thomas
Sarah Thomas (Source: Instagram)

“There is so much more to my journey than me arriving with the initials NFL behind my name. People always ask you what motivates you, Sarah. If you don’t motivate yourself every morning, you need to check your motor. Get up and get moving.”
-Sarah Thomas 

Therefore, as we plunge deeper into her cranny, let’s warm up through a quick dose of her general get-to-go facts.

Quick Facts:

Full NameSarah Thomas (Bailey)
Date of BirthSeptember 21, 1973
Birth PlacePascagoula, Mississippi
Nick NameNone
Zodiac Sign Virgo
Age49 Years Old
Height5 ft 7 inches (168 cm)
WeightNot Available 
Hair ColorBlonde 
Eye ColorBlack 
Father’s NameNot Available 
Mother’s NameNot Available 
SiblingsTwo brothers
High SchoolPascagoula High School
CollegeUniversity of Mobile
Marital StatusMarried 
SpouseBrian Thomas (m. 2000)
KidsTwo sons, Brady Thomas and Bridley Thomas
A daughter Bailey Thomas 
Current city Brandon, Mississippi
ProfessionFootball official (referee)
Active Years2015-present
Net Worth$180,000 average annual salary
Social MediaInstagram, Twitter 
MerchSuper Bowl Apparel
Last UpdateNovember, 2022

Sarah Thomas | Early Life, Family and Education

Thomas (born Sarah Bailey) was born on September 21, 1973, in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Although she has been sharing many words about her parents, she has yet to reveal their names. Anyway, she grew up alongside her brothers, who are also football officials. 

Indeed, Sarah has a well-groomed childhood, and ever since her early days, she has been into sports.

Equally important, having two big brothers involved in sports made her more intrigued about the sports. Soon enough, she was also indulged in softball and basketball. 


As for education, Sarah attended Pascagoula High School, the very journey to step into softball.

As I say it, it must not be a surprise that she lettered five times in total in that very game.

Even if it amazes you, what’s more, fascinating is that she loved the thrill the sports provided.

Thus, even when her father wouldn’t allow her to play, she would be doing so in the boy’s team.

Yes, the fact that she was getting scolded didn’t stop her from doing what she loved doing.

Later, she enrolled at the University of Mobile, where she continued her basketball games.

In fact, she got into that college with a basketball scholarship. Throughout, her college she also bagged an academic all-American.

Thomas during her class
 Thomas during her class

By the end of college, she had posted 779 points, 441 rebounds, 108 assists, and 192 steals, which put her in the fifth position in the school’s history. 

Well, shifting our concern bit into academics, Thomas graduated in 1995 with a degree in communications.

Following graduation, too, her focus from sports didn’t flicker as she joined church league basketball and appeared in the games for it.

Things always turn well until a slight bump topples over you. Many guys complained about how Sarah made them uncomfortable with sports during those tenures, and eventually, she was kicked out. 

“You can choose to look at something as either a roadblock or a speedbump. How big is your rearview mirror, and how big is your windshield. Which one is larger?”
-Sarah Thomas

Sarah Thomas | Age, Height & Physical Attributes

Although, Sarah Thomas hasn’t updated people with her current body measurements and weight. However, she is a blonde lady who stands fairly at 5 ft 7 inches (168 cm).

As you go for her appearance, she is fair-skinned with black eyes and has an oval-shaped face. Furthermore, even as an official, she maintains her diet and fitness regime in a lane.

As you plunge into her workout routine, it is distinguished as an upper half workout, lower half workout, and overall conditioned workout. 

Her upper half includes push-ups, chest passes, and hand walk, while her lower body includes back squats, squat jump, and sled push.

Likewise, her conditioned workout consists of warm-ups, sprints, and lateral slides. Overall, of course, these sets of workout routines come alongside her repetition sets. 

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Sarah Thomas | Officiating Career 

A turning factor! Sarah didn’t give up; instead, she found the other way around for her passion.

Then, she commenced tagging along with her brother to a meeting of football officials (Gulf Coast Football Officials Association).

Hence, this year 1996 was her pivotal point that sparked her career, and she started working in the high school associations in Mississippi.

She devoted seven years to the Middle Mississippi Athletic Association until finally, she applied for junior college football.

Conference USA

After ten years of high school devotion, she got a call to officiate in Conference USA in 2006.

As she revealed, she had a 45 minutes interview, and her communication skills contributed a lot to level up. 

Back then, Gerry Austin, Conference USA’s coordinator of officials, approved her in the Conference USA.

Therefore, setting a history, Sarah Thomas became the first-ever woman to officiate a major college football game in 2007. 

Conference USA
Sarah for Conference USA.

“She(Sarah) understood that the rules of the game of football should be applied within the spirit of the game and not within the technical writing of the rules,” said Gerry Austin (Conference USA’s coordinator of officials)

He then added, “She has the ability to calm the coach down and to explain whatever the coach is questioning.”

Overall, she has worked at Jacksonville State at the University of Memphis for two Conference USA games. 

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Bowl Games 

Within just two years, Thomas set yet another feat in the record book to become the first to officiate a bowl game (Little Caesars Pizza Bowl).

Alongside five other members, she covered a major college football in 2009.

However, she was the only one to start in the Football Bowl Subdivision level in her third season.

Similarly, she also featured in the United Football League games and even officiated the 2010 league championship game.

Moreover, she advanced to NFL in 2011 as the first woman to officiate in a Big Ten stadium. 

National Football League (NFL)

In 2013, Sarah Thomas bagged the permanent NFL officiating position, closely followed by the NFL Referee Development program.

Afterward, she worked in the college Senior Bowl for Division I players. Now, as we arrive at the most anticipated phase of her life, being the permanent full-time officiate.

On September 13, 2015, she made her debut with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium.

Since then, she has never stepped down, nor has she ever given us the reason to point anything at her. 

In fact, what flows is the stillness in her consistency and the only light that motivates youngsters and anyone laid back.

Speaking of professionalism, you should see the 2016 Sarah Thomas, when she completed her work even with the broken wrist during a Vikings-Packers game.

Change in Rules

Way before the 2021 season, all the NFL officiates were to wear a baggy uniform and a cap without holes.

However, as Thomas got charged as the first lady officiate, she can have her hair in the ponytail. 

Thus, now, she can be easily figured out in the crowd. Overall, she was last seen in the match between Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs on February 7, 2021

<<<Click here to follow Sarah Thomas for her inspiring quotations>>>

Sarah Thomas | First Woman to Officiate in Super Bowl 

Everyone attached to the NFL knows how the sports officials are; stout male, old, grey hair, fair-skinned, etc.

Although officiating stands as one of the most impactable stances, it was mostly centered on one fixed point. 

The progress is slow with the NFL system that includes women and other faces of different colors.

Therefore, when Sarah Thomas became the first woman to officiate Super Bowls, it was news right for celebration. 

NFL playoff games
                                                       NFL playoff games

After 2015, she stood as the down judge in 2017 and earned her foremost on-field assignment for a playoff game.

Not to mention her alternate role in the 2018 Atlanta Falcons and Los Angeles Rams Wild Card game.

All in all, she also officiated the 2020 NFL season alongside the crew headed by referee Shawn Hochuli.

Furthermore, with a back-to-back history record, she is all set to add another peak in her career on February 7 in Tampa, Florida.

Yes, she will appear again as the down judge for the Super Bowl LV officiating crew, the first woman to officiate Super Bowl. 

This time, she will feature alongside her crewmates, umpire Fred Bryan, line judge Rusty Baynes, field judge James Coleman, side judge Eugene Hall, back judge Dino Paganelli and replay official Mike Wimmer.

“Being the first isn’t the reason I did this, but if my story can positively impact anyone, that’s what matters to me. I don’t want to be on an island by myself as the first female official. But I love having the title, and I love what it means to other people, including my daughter.”
-Sarah Thomas 

Net Worth & Earnings

Sarah leads a lavish life with her millions of dollars. Although they haven’t enclosed her detailed net worth and figures, she makes $180,000 as an average annual salary today. 

According to sources, her normal game earning is between $4,000-$5,000 per game, while she makes $10,000 for the Super Bowl playoffs.

Altogether, her per year earnings are recorded to be around $250,000 as an NFL official. 

Additionally, she had also appeared in the 2019 Super Bowl LIII commercial. Also, she works full-time in pharmaceutical sales for Novo Nordisk.

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Sarah Thomas | Personal Life, Husband & Kids

Apart from being the NFL official, Thomas handles a much bigger responsibility as a mother and a wife.

She is a down-to-earth person who has made her family home, also inspired her daughter and many others. 

She is a married woman with three kids (two sons, Brady Thomas and Bridley Thomas, a daughter Bailey Thomas). Additionally, she is also a loving wife to her spouse, Brian Thomas.

The duo has been married since 2000 and has been going strong ever since. Not to mention, she credits all her success to her family. 

Sarah Thomas with her family
                        Sarah Thomas with her family

“Being a mom is, of course, the most important to me. I try to take what I learned in my upbringing and pass it on to my own children. I try to teach my kids accountability, time management, and just so you know again, as my parents taught me, treat others the way you want to be treated.”
-Sarah Thomas 

Social Media Presence:

Instagram hashtag#sarahthomas
Twitter hashtag#sarahthomas

Some FAQs:

Where is Sarah Thomas today?

Sarah Thomas is still on the National Football League’s(NFL) officiating roster. 

Who is the first football official woman in the NFL?

Sarah Thomas is the first female to be hired as a full-time official for the NFL.


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