Jen Welter Makes History As NFL’s First Female Coach

Jen Welter Makes History As NFL’s First Female Coach

Jen Welter made NFL history on Monday.

Welter, 37, joined the staff of the Arizona Cardinals as assistant coaching intern, becoming the first female coach in NFL history, the team announced.

And while Welter’s new role marks a major step for the league, it’s not her first major accomplishment in football.

Always an athlete, Welter was a professional football player for more than fourteen years, mostly for the Dallas Diamonds of the Women’s Football Alliance, with four WFA championships to her name. She then blazed a new trail for women in professional football when she was hired as the first woman to play a non-kicking position—she played running back and special teams—for a men’s team, joining the Texas Revolution of the Indoor Football League. She continued to make history when the Revolution hired her to coach both linebackers and special teams.

Her resume off the gridiron is just as impressive. Welter holds a master’s degree in sports psychology and a Ph.D. in psychology (that’s where the “Dr.” in her Twitter profile name comes from).

Bruce Arians, the Cardinals’ head coach, praised Welter’s coaching prowess. “I really believe she’ll have a great opportunity with this internship through training camp to open some doors for her,” Arians said in an article on the team’s official site. “I thought she was the type of person that could handle this in a very positive way for women and open that door.”

In Arizona, she’ll work during both training camp and preseason, focusing on work with the team’s inside linebackers.

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