The Buffalo Bills made a power run through a glass ceiling on Wednesday by hiring Kathryn Smith, the first full-time female member of coaching staff in NFL history. Smith, who has worked in the NFL since 2003 and joined the Bills last year as an administrative assistant to head coach Rex Ryan, is the new special teams quality control coach, reports the Buffalo News. She started out at the New York Jets, where she became a player personnel assistant in 2007 and was promoted to assistant to the head coach in 2014.
"She certainly deserves this promotion based on her knowledge and strong commitment, just to name a couple of her outstanding qualities, and I just know she's going to do a great job serving in the role of quality control-special teams," Ryan said in a Bills press release. Her hire is a big step for the NFL, Bleacher Report notes, although there are already full-time female coaches in MLB and the NBA, leaving the NHL with some catching up to do. (Last summer, the Arizona Cardinals made Jen Welter the first woman to hold any kind of coaching position in the NFL.)