Arizona Cardinals Hire First Female Coach
2015 is already set up to be a groundbreaking season for women given Sarah Thomas’s appointment as the NFL’s first female official.
Now we can check off first female coach, too.
The Arizona Cardinals have announced the hiring of Jen Welter who played 14 seasons of professional football, predominantly as a linebacker in the Women’s Football Alliance. Welter, who also holds a PhD in physcology will be a preseason/training camp intern coaching the inside linebackers. The Cardinals will not be Welter’s first foray into coaching; she’s currently the linebackers coach for the Texas Revolution of the Indoor Football League.
According to the Cardinals team website, Revolution head coach Devin Wyman contacted Bruce Arians after Arians seemed open to the idea of a female coach.
“The minute they can prove they can make a player better, they’ll be hired,” Arians said at the NFL Owners’ Meetings this March.
The Cardinals head coach put his money where his mouth is.
Welter shared the news on her Facebook page.
I'm honored to be part of the #BIRDGANG! Love the #footballfamily here with the #ArizonaCardinals…
Posted by Dr. Jen Welter on Monday, July 27, 2015
Early reaction to the announcement was positive, even from
AFC player in text to me on Jen Welter: “”The truth is, she has more playing experience than some of the coaches who coach me now.”
— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) July 28, 2015
Of course a training camp internship is a temporary gig and by no means guarantees a permanent coaching slot in the NFL. But the opportunity is there, and given Welter’s track record as an ambitious, gender-blind superstar, a future in the NFL truly seems plausible.