Bills hire Kathryn Smith as NFL’s first full-time female assistant

0:59 | NFL
Bills hire Kathryn Smith as NFL’s first full-time female assistant
Thursday January 21st, 2016

The Buffalo Bills have hired Kathryn Smith as a special teams quality control coach, making her the first full-time female assistant in NFL history, the team announced Wednesday night.

ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio first reported the news.

Smith worked as the administrative assistant to head coach Rex Ryan last season and in 2014 when both were with the Jets organization. Smith was a player personnel assistant with the Jets for seven years prior, and also worked for the team as an intern.

“Kathryn Smith has done an outstanding job in the seven years that she has worked with our staff,” said Ryan in a statement. “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.”

The Arizona Cardinals hired Jen Welter as a training camp assistant before the 2015 season, but her position was temporary. Ryan said he consulted with Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians before making the decision to promote Smith.

The Bills went 8–8 last season in Ryan’s first year as head coach.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.