Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said the NFL could see female coaches in the future.
Arians made his comments at the NFL owners meetings last month, before the league announced the hiring of Sarah Thomas, its first full-time female official, on Wednesday.
"Someone asked me yesterday, 'When are we going to have female coaches?'" Arians said. "The minute they can prove they can make a player better, they’ll be hired."
While Thomas is the first full-time NFL official, she follows Shannon Eastin, who was hired as a non-union official during the 2012 lockout and was the first woman to officiate a regular-season game.
[daily_cut.nfl]A model for the NFL considering female coaches could be the NBA, where former WNBA star Becky Hammon is an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs and Lauren Holtkamp is in her first season as a full-time referee, the third the NBA has ever had.
Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich credited Hammon's contributions to the team last month when San Antonio traveled to New York, Hammon's former home with the New York Liberty, for a game against the Knicks.
''She's another brain,'' Popovich said before the March 17 game. ''She's another person that has an opinion, has a lot of good experience about the game, and I value that highly.''
- Mike Fiammetta