In the demanding and predominantly male domain of college football officiating, the emergence of Amanda Sauer as the Big Ten's first female referee is a landmark achievement. Her ascent through the ranks, marked by determination, skill, and a profound understanding of the game, underscores the evolving landscape of college sports and highlights the dedication required to break new ground in this challenging profession.


Background and Rise

Amanda Sauer's journey into the heart of college football officiating was fueled by a genuine love for the game and an unwavering determination to contribute meaningfully to the sport. Beginning her career at the high school level, Sauer demonstrated an exceptional grasp of the rules and a unique ability to navigate the complexities of the game, earning respect from players and coaches alike. Her adeptness at managing game dynamics and her effective communication skills swiftly set her apart in the officiating community.


Trail to the Big Ten

Sauer's commitment and performance in the initial stages of her career laid the foundation for her historic ascent to the Big Ten, one of college football's most prestigious conferences. Her ability to make clear, fair decisions under pressure garnered the attention of those at the higher echelons of college sports, marking a significant breakthrough not only for her career but also for female officials in the sport. Her progression to officiating in the Big Ten was a testament to her exceptional abilities and professionalism in a field where women have historically been underrepresented.


Notable Games and Experiences

With her reputation as a trailblazer firmly established, Amanda Sauer took to the field in significant matchups, including key conference games and high-stakes post-season tournaments. Each game offered her a platform to showcase her officiating skills and served as a valuable learning experience, contributing to her development as a referee. Sauer's composed presence and consistency, particularly in the intense atmosphere of closely contested matches, have been instrumental in her role as a pioneering figure on the field.


Officiating Philosophy

Sauer's approach to officiating is rooted in a philosophy of fairness, integrity, and an in-depth appreciation of football. She emphasizes the importance of effective communication and maintains that the spirit of competition should always be at the heart of each game she oversees. Her focus on player safety, strict adherence to the rules, and the educational value of officiating demonstrate her holistic view of her responsibilities on the field.


Challenges and Overcoming Adversity

Navigating the world of college football officiating has presented Sauer with unique challenges, from overcoming stereotypes and biases to adapting to the ever-evolving dynamics of the game. She has tackled these challenges head-on, viewing them as opportunities to refine her officiating skills and to pave the way for future generations of female officials. Her journey underscores the resilience and adaptability necessary to succeed in a demanding and traditionally male-dominated arena.


Impact and Legacy

Beyond her achievements on the field, Amanda Sauer's impact on college football extends to her role in advocating for diversity and inclusion within the sport. Her contributions to officiating training programs and her mentorship of aspiring referees, particularly women, are integral to her enduring legacy. She has been a formidable advocate for the advancement of officiating talent and the promotion of integrity and fairness in college football.



Amanda Sauer's pioneering journey in college football officiating serves as a testament to the perseverance, skill, and commitment required to excel in a field where women have seldom been represented. From her beginnings in high school football to making history in the Big Ten, Sauer has demonstrated an unwavering dedication to fairness, excellence, and the true spirit of competition. As she continues to officiate with integrity and professionalism, her contributions to college football and its officiating community are both invaluable and inspirational, marking a significant step forward in the sport's ongoing evolution.