Jen Welter made NFL history by becoming the first woman to hold a coaching position in the league.
The Arizona Cardinals hired Welter as a coaching intern earlier this week through training camp and the preseason to work with, and develop, the teams inside linebackers. Welter brings nearly 15 years of professional football experience, having played collegiate rugby at Boston College, where she earned a master’s degree in sports psychology and a Ph.D. in psychology. She went on to play for several semi-pro women's football teams, including the Dallas Diamonds and Dallas Dragons. Welter also has won gold medals in 2010 and 2013 playing with Team USA in the International Federation of American Football Women’s World Championship. This year she was an assistant coach of the Indoor Football League's Texas Revolution, working with linebackers and on special teams.
Her resume is extremely impressive no matter the gender.
“I wanted to open that door… Coaching is nothing more than teaching. The one thing I’ve learned from players: All they want to know is, ‘How are you going to make me better?” says Cardinals coach Bruce Arians. “I really believe she’ll have a great opportunity through this internship to open some doors.”
This is another progressive step for the NFL who just this past season hired its first female on-field referee. It will be exciting to see what doors will be opened by this move and the future of women integrating in the NFL.