Jen Welter, 37, will work with inside linebackers as an assistant coaching intern for training camp and the preseason
In a historic move, the Arizona Cardinals hired Jen Welter as the team’s – and likely the NFL’s – first-ever female coach on Monday.
She took to Facebook to share the news, writing: “I’m honored to be part of the #BIRDGANG! Love the #footballfamily here with the #ArizonaCardinals #NFL”
Welter, 37, will work with inside linebackers as an assistant coaching intern for training camp and the preseason, according to ESPN.
Head coach Bruce Arians said Monday that it was important to him to be the first to hire a female coach, The Arizona Republic reports.
“I wanted to open that door,” Arians said. “Coaching is nothing more than teaching. The one thing I’ve learned from players: all they want to know 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.’ ”
He added that he’s spoken to several Cardinals players, saying that they’re “all cool” with a female coach. “It’s not going to be a distraction in any way,” Arians said.
Welter has played professional football for more than 14 years as a linebacker, mainly with the Dallas Diamonds of the Women’s Football Alliance. In February 2014, she made headlines after she became the first woman to play a non-kicking position in a men’s professional football league, serving as a running back for the Texas Revolution of the Indoor Football League.