Conti earns her stripes as football 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.
"The ultimate goal is to be able to do it at the highest level," Conti said. "Tennis players want to play Wimbledon, golfers want to play Pebble Beach, and football players want to get to the Super Bowl. The reality of it is, I'm hoping I get a second Big 12 game ever in my life."
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.
Mountain West supervisor of officials Ken Rivera said Conti has moved up on merit and hasn't drawn much notice from coaches which is a good thing.