Arizona Cardinals Hire Jen Welter as First Female Coach in NFL History

jen welter first female nfl coach

The Arizona Cardinals made a bit of NFL history on Monday. They hired Jen Welter to work with inside linebackers as an assistant coaching intern for training camp and the preseason, making her the first female coach in the history of the NFL.

Obviously, assistant coaching intern is not the same as assistant coach. But don’t be surprised if Welter, 37, pries the door all the way open after sticking her foot in there. She’s been making football history for a while now.

While playing football professionally for 14 years in the Women’s Football Alliance, Welter somehow found the time to earn an MA in sports psychology and a PhD in psychology. In February 2014 she became the first female to play a non-kicking position in a men’s professional football game when she suited up as a running back for the Texas Revolution of the Indoor Football League. Then, in February 2015, she became the first female coach in men’s professional football when she was hired by the Revolution to coach linebackers and special teams.

Interestingly, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians was asked just a few months ago when the NFL would see its first female coach. His response? “The minute they can prove they can make a player better, they’ll be hired.”

On Monday, Arians echoed those sentiments.

“Coaching is nothing more than teaching,” he told “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, I’ll listen.'”

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