Dr. Jen Welter will go down in history as the first female coach in the National Football League (NFL). The Arizona Cardinals announced this Monday July 27th, that she will join Cardinal Nation as an intern throughout training camp and the preseason, working with inside linebackers, making her what is believed to be the first woman to hold a coaching position of any kind in the NFL.
A 14-year women’s pro player and two-time Team USA gold medalist, Welter previously attracted the national spotlight as the first woman in a non-kicking position (running back) in a men’s professional football league. She went on to become the first woman to coach men’s professional football, for the Texas Revolution.
Time magazine had this comment. “This is clearly a historic step. But it’s important to note that Welter has only been hired as an intern, one of seven recently added, and the length of her employment is unclear. She also seems a bit overqualified: She has a master’s degree in sports psychology and a Ph.D. in psychology.
There has been some resistance to this move. Some have questioned whether a woman can lead men on a NFL team, especially since no woman has ever played in the NFL. Such a response ignores the fact that a number of male coaches, including Vince Lombardi, Bill Belichick, and Joe Gibbs, never played in the NFL either”.