The Arizona Cardinals have hired Jen Welter to a training camp/preseason coaching internship, making her the NFL’s first female coach.
Welter, a former collegiate rugby and women’s pro football player, will coach Arizona’s inside linebackers.
“Coaching is nothing more than teaching,” head coach Bruce Arians said, according to the team’s website. “One thing I have learned from players is, ‘How are you going to make me better? If you can make me better, I don’t care if you’re the Green Hornet, man, I’ll listen.’ I really believe she’ll have a great opportunity with this internship through training camp to open some doors for her.”
Welter played one game at running back for the Texas Revolution last season in the Indoor Football League, a men’s league, becoming the first female non-kicker to play in a professional men’s game. The Revolution later hired her as a linebackers coach. She also competed with the United States women’s national football team and won two gold medals at the world championships.
Welter holds a master’s degree in sports psychology and a PhD in psychology.
Welter is the second female pioneer in the NFL this season. In April, the league hired Sarah Thomas as its first full-time on-field official.
- Dan Gartland