The Arizona Cardinals broke ground last July by hiring Jen Welter as an assistant coaching intern, believed to have been the first woman to coach in the NFL.
Well, the Buffalo Bills took that a step further Wednesday, hiring Kathryn Smith as their special teams' quality control coach, making her the first female full-time coach in NFL history.
“Kathryn Smith had done an outstanding job in the seven years that she has worked with our staff,” Bills head coach Rex Ryan said via a team press release 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."
Smith paid her dues in NFL circles having worked with Ryan when both were with the New York Jets, as a player personnel assistant and intern for game-day staff and scouting departments, and, most recently as a Bills' administrative assistant.
Ryan also shared that he consulted with Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians about his experience with Welter, before hiring Smith.
“You can see the success some of these young ladies are having in the coaching profession, such as the young lady that is an assistant to Coach (Gregg) Popovich at the San Antonio Spurs, and realize how exciting this is for women like Kathryn Smith as well as the Bills organization,” Ryan added.
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(Photo: AP Photo/File)