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Sarah Thomas & Walt Coleman IV Among Nine First-Year NFL Officials

The NFL’s roster of game officials for the 2015 season will include nine first-year NFL officials.

The nine 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 upcoming organized team activities.

Sarah Thomas will join the NFL as a line judge after officiating in Conference USA since 2007. Thomas is the first woman to be assigned full-time to an NFL officiating crew and will be the second 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 in 2012.

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:

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

The complete 2015 NFL roster of officials, including crew assignments, will be announced in May.

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