How the NFL is working to expand the number of female coaches… (USA)
Christine Arians had had enough.
Her husband, Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians, the coach responsible for starting the trend of hiring female coaches in the NFL, was talking about giving another internship to a woman.
“I said, ‘Oh, babe. We don’t need more internships.’ Like, ‘Oh, yeah, come on, little lady. Hang with us for a year, and then we’re going to let you go,'” Christine said. “No, find somebody that’s qualified to coach, and hire them.”
In early March, the Bucs became the first team in NFL history to hire two full-time female coaches in assistant defensive line coach Lori Locust and assistant strength and conditioning coach Maral Javadifar. That came less than four years after Arians made history by hiring the first female coach, Jen Welter, as a training camp intern in 2015.
Since then, the NFL has slowly been opening its doors to more female coaches. In the four years since Welter broke the barrier, 10 NFL coaches have hired women as interns or full-time coaches.
“It’s our responsibility now to continue to find and develop that talent pool that’s out there,” Locust told ESPN. “I talked to a lot of people about this. The last thing we want to do collectively is be looked at as not credible or not earning this opportunity. And I think that’s where the responsibility is right now.”
Last season, the NFL had 10 female coaches — three full-time and seven interns. That was twice as many as in 2017 and 1,000 percent growth from four years ago, when Welter was the only woman coaching in the league.
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