Women are making history as the NFL just hired Jen Welter, the first female to have a coaching position for the National Football League.
Welter was hired as the assistant coach for the Arizona Cardinals back in July. Welter, a former collegiate rugby player, who also played 14 seasons of professional football on the Women’s Football Alliance, attended Boston College. She later received her master’s and PhD from Capella University.
Brought in by the Cardinals Head Coach, Bruce Arians, as a training camp/preseason intern , Welter has proven that she is more than qualified for the job as assistant coach for the Cardinals.
“Coaching is nothing more than teaching,” says Arians. “One thing I have learned from players is, ‘How are you going to make me better? If you can make me better, I don’t care if you’re the Green Hornet, man, I’ll listen.’ I really believe she’ll have a great opportunity with this internship through training camp to open some doors for her.”
Arians is also the first head coach break gender barriers and social norms of having all men in a coaching position. Many coaches stay clear of going out of the box, preserving more of a conservative stance or withdrawing from the topic of gender barriers.
“That’s the way everyone’s brought up in this business — to be guarded, especially if it’s not your last job,” Arians told a NFL media columnist. In the game, it’s all about the results and making a player better, not gender. “The minute they can prove they can make a player better, they’ll be hired”, said Arians.
On Saturday, August 15th, 2015. Welter, experienced her first NFL preseason game as a coach when the Arizona Cardinals took on the Kansas City Chiefs. She was greeted by Sarah Thomas, the first woman to be the full time on the field official for a preseason game.
Although there has been a woman to officiate at least one NFL game in the past, Thomas does hold the title of being the first woman to be a full time NFL official for the 2015 season. The NFL announced the news back in April of 2015.
Thomas is no rookie to officiating. She was also the first woman to officiate college football games and the first to do a Bowl Game, The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl back in 2009 in Detroit.
Another woman who recently broke waves in the leadership realm of sports is Becky Hammon. Hammon was hired last year as the assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs.
It’s more to sports than just playing the game. It takes a leader with a strategy rather woman or man.
Keep up with an exclusive interview coming soon from one of the players from Detroit’s very own NWFL (National Women’s Football League).