Sarah Thomas (pictured) and Cat Conti have broken ground for female referees
Stacy Revere/Getty Images
By SI Wire
July 21, 2014

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby announced Monday that official Cat Conti will work the Sept. 6 game between Kansas and Southeast Missouri State, making her the first female official to referee a game involving a Big 12 team.

Conti has been an official since 2000, working her way up through high school, junior college and Division II games. She worked her first Division I game in 2010, and became a full-time official for the Southland Conference in 2011.

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According to, Conti's goal is to become an NFL referee.

In 2007, Sarah Thomas became the first female official to work a Division I game. The NFL has been considering making her a full-time official, which could occur this season, according to

- Ben Estes

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