San Francisco 49ers offensive assistant Katie Sowers will become the first female and first openly gay coach in Super Bowl history when she suits up for Super Bowl LIV in Miami on Feb. 2.
“No matter what you do in life, one of the most important things is to be true to who you are,” Sowers told Outsports after she joined the 49ers in 2017. “There are so many people who identify as LGBT in the NFL, as in any business, that do not feel comfortable being public about their sexual orientation. The more we can create an environment that welcomes all types of people, no matter their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, the more we can help ease the pain and burden that many carry every day."
Sowers's help with the Niners' skill position players has propelled an offensive attack that was second in rushing and second in points during the regular season.
"She's been tremendous," quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo told reporters about Sowers after the team's 37-20 victory in the NFC championship game over the Packers. "Katie was here before I was, but just what she does with the receivers, all the skill position guys, how she interacts with them. It's special. She's feisty, man. Katie is awesome out there. She'll get after guys. ... It's fun to be around."
Previously, Sowers interned with and was the training camp assistant for the Atlanta Falcons. She was the second woman to ever coach in the NFL when she joined the league.
In an advertisement with a tablet company that aired during the NFC championship game, Sowers read from a journal she wrote as a child that expressed her desire to one day be a member of a professional football team.
“I hope someday I will be a good football player,” she wrote at the time. “I am good at football. When we play football at home, I can make a touchdown in one catch. I am the leader of our football club.”
"I hope, someday, I will be on a real football team," Sowers reads in the commercial.
A number of prominent female athletes and athletic organizations have showed their support for Powers in light of the milestone.
"Big congrats to our friend @KatieSowers on that NFC title and for making history!" the U.S. Soccer women's national team tweeted. "She'll be the first woman to coach at a Super Bowl. Love to see it."
"Phenomenal @KatieSowers," wrote USWNT goalkeeper Hope Solo.