Football is a sport dominated by men. A couple of weeks ago, we highlighted some of the most powerful women in the game, the ones who are in charge of various NFL franchises. Today, we look at a woman who broke a major barrier and hopefully serves as a pioneer, moving forward.
In 2015, Jennifer Welter became the NFL’s first female assistant coach. She worked with the Arizona Cardinals on the defensive side of the ball, coaching linebackers and also working with the secondary a little bit. Former Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu has gone on record to show his respect for coach Welter and the way she coached them up, saying her style is no different from other coaches he’s had.
In addition to coaching, Welter is an excellent athlete whose accomplishments include:
- Winning Gold Medal in IFAF World Championships (International championship for women in American football) in 2010 and in 2013
- Star rugby player at Boston College
- In 2015, Welter was presented with the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Sports Pioneer Award
- Known as “doctor” as she has a PhD in psychology
Played professional football for an indoor football league team called the Texas Revolution, playing running back in 2014. The following season, she would become the full-time Linebackers and Special Teams coach.
The AAF is a new football league that kicks off in February 2019. Long time defensive assistant Kevin Coyle is the new head coach of the Atlanta Legends and has named Welter a full-time defensive assistant.
Hopefully Welter can use her indoor, NFL, and AAF experiences to continue building her resume and find a full-time home as a coach in football, and pave the way for other women to follow suit.