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Steelhawks assistant coach Lori Locust is a woman making her mark in a man’s world (USA)

Like many minor league teams, the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks use giveaways, special performances and appearances and in-game features to attract fans to their National Arena League football games at PPL Center.

So, when the Steelhawks announced in the offseason that Lori ‘Lo’ Locust was added to the coaching staff as the team’s linebackers coach, you might have thought it was another gimmick to heighten interest in the team.

Locust is hardly a gimmick, however.

She knows the game as well as her male counterparts and has proven to be an asset to the coaching staff.

“I’ve been coaching football for 44 years and I’ve never worked with a woman before,” said Steelhawks defensive coordinator and longtime area collegiate coach Bob Kohler. “But I’ll tell you what, she’s good. She knows the game. She has been in the game for awhile and communicates well with the players. The players respect her. I have no reservations about working with her because she’s already been a big contributor.”

Kohler’s sentiments are echoed by head coach Chris Thompson, general manager Mike Clark and everyone involved with the team, including the most important faction, the players.

“She’s a great coach,” lineman Shawn Lockett said. “It’s kind of cool to see a female in this intense, manly environment full of bravado. She knows the game. She knows her stuff. She’s not making it up.”

Lockett said at first the players’ reaction was: “Wow, we have a woman here.”

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