Report: NFL to Adds Another Female to Officiating Department

Referees discuss a call in the second quarter of a football game -- the NFL will test a new rule in 2016 under which players will be ejected from games if they receive two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties
Getty/AFP/File Dilip Vishwanat

An inside source reports that the NFL will add a new female to its officiating department.

The insiders say that starting with the 2017 football season, Terri Valenti will become the league’s first female instant replay booth assistant, is reporting.

Terri Valenti comes to the NFL with a long list of accomplishments. She was the first woman to officiate for pro football in the U.S. when she took the field for the now-defunct UFL in 2009. She also has officiated for college games and the Arena Football League (AFL). Valenti was named Official of the Year for the AFL.

“Valenti will be responsible for initiating replays inside the final two minutes when head coaches are unable to issue challenges,” SportingNews reported. “Valenti also will help assist in review of other in-game replays. She previously had served as an instant replay communicator for San Francisco 49ers games, which is a position Valenti will now oversee.”

The 55-year-old married official is a mother of five children, led a U.S. Navy project team in computer simulation design, and has degrees in economics. She also worked for Kent State University and taught management classes as an adjunct professor at Menlo College.

Valenti will join Sarah Thomas as the first women to officiate for the NFL.

Thomas became the first full-time NFL official in 2015. In 2016 she served as a line judge.

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