Meet the NFL's First Female Coach
This isn't the first time Jen Welter has broken down gender barriers while passing the pigskin.
Make some room, NFL fellas—there's a new female coach in town.
On Monday, the Arizona Cardinals announced their new assistant coach, 37-year-old Jen Welter, who is believed to be the first female coach in the National Football League's history.
Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians hired Welter as an assistant coaching intern during training camp and the pre-season to work with inside linebackers, ESPN reports.
"Coaching is nothing more than teaching," Arians said Monday, according to the team's announcement. "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, man, I'll listen.' I really believe she'll have a great opportunity with this internship through training camp to open some doors for her."
Yesterday, Welter toasted the big news on Facebook: "I'm honored to be part of the #BIRDGANG! Love the #footballfamily here with the #ArizonaCardinals #NFL."
She may be new to Phoenix, but Welter has already made quite a name for herself in the football world with a career spanning more than 14 years on multiple semi-pro teams. (Fun facts: she played rugby at Boston College and has a master's degree in sports psychology and a PhD in psychology.)
The Florida native played professionally mainly as a linebacker with the Dallas Diamonds of the Women's Football Alliance and helped the team win four titles. She also played at the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) Women's World Championship in 2010 and 2013, helping bring Team USA to two gold medals.
And this isn't the first time Welter has broken down gender barriers while passing the pigskin. The football star made headlines in February 2014 after she became the first woman to play a non-kicking position in a men's professional football league as a running back for the Texas Revolution of the Indoor Football League in a game against the North Texas Crunch.
"I said, 'Is that all you got?' " Welter told the Dallas Morning News at the time. "I didn't want [the players] to think I was intimidated."
A year after her historic running-back move, Welter was named coach for the Texas Revolution linebackers and special teams, making her the first female to coach in a men's professional football league ever.
"I want little girls to grow up knowing they can do anything, even play football," Welter told Today last year. "It's all about living in the moment, and the moment for me is right now."