NFL Gets Its Very First Female Coach

Jen Welter to join the Arizona Cardinals
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2015 9:09 AM CDT
NFL Gets Its Very First Female Coach
In this Feb. 12, 2014, photo, Jen Welter puts her helmet on before the start of the Texas Revolution's practice at Bradford Crossing Park in Allen, Texas.   (Vernon Bryant/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

A woman has never held any kind of coaching position in the NFL, or, at least, ESPN wasn't able to find one. That changed yesterday. The Arizona Cardinals have added Jen Welter to the team's ranks. Her position, per ESPN: "assistant coaching intern for training camp and the preseason to work with inside linebackers." It's another feather in the cap of a pretty remarkable-sounding woman.

Here's a sample of Welter's résumé, by way of the Cardinals: The 37-year-old has a master's degree in sport psychology and a PhD in psychology; was a collegiate rugby player; and played 14 seasons of pro football as a linebacker, most with the Women's Football Alliance. In February 2014, she logged another first: playing a non-kicking position in a men's pro league (she played running back and special teams for the Texas Revolution). At ESPN, Josh Weinfuss looks at the man behind the move: That would be coach Bruce Arians. Writes Weinfuss, "This is a typical Arians move. It's risky and it's bold, just like his offense. ... If it works, it's because Welter is in the right place with the right coach. Hiring Welter takes an open mind and thick skin. Arians has both." (More Arizona Cardinals stories.)

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