Cat Conti - Big 12's first female official

Cat Conti never played sports, let alone had any interest in them, when she was growing up in Southern California. She wanted to be a Hollywood star.

Like many wannabe actors, she found herself waiting tables after college. And had it not been for her getting to know a high school coach at the sports grill where she worked, she wouldn't be among the four women who will be on-field officials in the Football Bowl Subdivision this season.

The 38-year-old Conti had been assigned to the Southeast Missouri State-Kansas game on Sept. 6, making her the first woman to work a football game in the Big 12 Conference.
— Associated Press

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE - Line Judge Catherine Conti retrieves the football at the Legacy Bowl Women's Football Championship, on Friday July 25, 2014 at District Three Stadium in Rock Hill, S.C. The Carolina Queens beat the Minnesota Vixens 28-22. (Bob Leverone/AP Images for National Football League)

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE - Line Judge Catherine Conti signals from the sidelines at the Legacy Bowl Women's Football Championship, on Friday July 25, 2014 at District Three Stadium in Rock Hill, S.C. The Carolina Queens beat the Minnesota Vixens 28-22. (Bob Leverone/AP Images for National Football League)

Catherine Conti

Cat Conti: “Last week @ #SamHoustonState. Mascot is the #BearKats. I feel right at home…” (Catherine Conti/Facebook)

Catherine Conti

Cat Conti: “Crew Shelton - the 2013 #countdown continues... — at Qualcomm Stadium.” (Catherine Conti/Facebook)

Catherine Conti

Cat Conti: “Worked up an #appetite w my #FridayNight #FootballSeason prep. I believe in #crosstraining. Thanks Zak!” (Catherine Conti/Facebook)

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE - Line judge Catherine Conti tosses a flag at the Women's Football East West All-Star Championships, on Saturday, July 26, 2014 at District Three Stadium in Rock Hill, S.C. (Bob Leverone/AP Images for the National Football League)

Catherine Conti

Cat Conti: “#Pregame at #AlohaStadium. Let 2013 football season begin!” (Catherine Conti/Facebook)

Catherine Conti

Cat Conti: “@countyguy We are #CougarsVSCougars... Today's #Playground! #NFLstadium” (Catherine Conti/Facebook)

Catherine Conti

Cat Conti: “Oh yeah.... THIS happened today! Played #golf #FIRSTholeEVER #imagolfer #hooked Thankful to JP & Chris: #TheGolfWhisperer” (Catherine Conti/Facebook)

In a photo provided by the NFL, Houston coach Brian Wiggins listens as referee Shannon Eastin, center, and official Catherine Conti give pre-game instructions at the International Women's Football League Championships, Saturday, July 26, 2014. in Rock Hill, S.C. The 38-year-old Conti had been assigned to the Southeast Missouri State-Kansas game on Sept. 6, making her the first woman to work a football game in the Big 12 Conference. Conti will work mostly as a line judge in the Mountain West for the second straight year. She landed the Big 12 gig through the league's officiating partnership with the Mountain West and FCS-level Southland Conference

In a photo provided by the NFL, Houston coach Brian Wiggins listens as referee Shannon Eastin, center, and official Catherine Conti give pre-game instructions at the International Women's Football League Championships, Saturday, July 26, 2014. in Rock Hill, S.C. The 38-year-old Conti had been assigned to the Southeast Missouri State-Kansas game on Sept. 6, making her the first woman to work a football game in the Big 12 Conference. Conti will work mostly as a line judge in the Mountain West for the second straight year. She landed the Big 12 gig through the league's officiating partnership with the Mountain West and FCS-level Southland Conference. (AP Photo/NFL, Bob Leverone)

In this photo provided by the NFL, official Catherine Conti yells for a ball at the International Women's Football League Championships, Saturday, July 26, 2014. in Rock Hill, S.C. The 38-year-old Conti had been assigned to the Southeast Missouri State-Kansas game on Sept. 6, making her the first woman to work a football game in the Big 12 Conference. Conti will work mostly as a line judge in the Mountain West for the second straight year. She landed the Big 12 gig through the league's officiating partnership with the Mountain West and FCS-level Southland Conference

In this photo provided by the NFL, official Catherine Conti yells for a ball at the International Women's Football League Championships, Saturday, July 26, 2014. in Rock Hill, S.C. The 38-year-old Conti had been assigned to the Southeast Missouri State-Kansas game on Sept. 6, making her the first woman to work a football game in the Big 12 Conference. Conti will work mostly as a line judge in the Mountain West for the second straight year. She landed the Big 12 gig through the league's officiating partnership with the Mountain West and FCS-level Southland Conference. (AP Photo/NFL, Bob Leverone)

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE - Line Judge Catherine Conti huddles with field judge Sebrina Brunson at the Legacy Bowl Women's Football Championship, on Friday July 25, 2014 at District Three Stadium in Rock Hill, S.C. The Carolina Queens beat the Minnesota Vixens 28-22. (Bob Leverone/AP Images for National Football League)

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE - Line Judge Catherine Conti signals a touchdown at the Legacy Bowl Women's Football Championship, on Friday July 25, 2014 at District Three Stadium in Rock Hill, S.C. The Carolina Queens beat the Minnesota Vixens 28-22. (Bob Leverone/AP Images for National Football League)

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE - Line Judge Catherine Conti signals a touchdown at the Legacy Bowl Women's Football Championship, on Friday July 25, 2014 at District Three Stadium in Rock Hill, S.C. The Carolina Queens beat the Minnesota Vixens 28-22. (Bob Leverone/AP Images for National Football League)