The Slatest

Arizona Cardinals Hire First-Ever Female NFL Coach to Work at Training Camp

Jen Welter takes a handoff in a men’s pro football game in February 2014.

Screen shot/YouTube/Jordan Ent.

Jen Welter will become the NFL’s first female coach when she joins the Arizona Cardinals as a intern working with inside linebackers during the team’s training camp, the team announced Monday. From the Cardinals’ official site:

During the owners meetings in March at the Arizona Biltmore, someone asked [head coach] Bruce Arians about the possibility of female coaches in the NFL. “The minute they can prove they can make a player better, they’ll be hired,” Arians said … It was soon after that Arians heard from the coach of the Texas Revolution in the Indoor Football League, who told Arians the Revolution already had a female on its staff that would be worth a look. Monday, Arians brought in Jen Welter – the one-time collegiate rugby player who played 14 seasons of pro football, mostly in the Women’s Football Alliance – as a training camp/preseason intern coaching inside linebackers.

Welter played rugby for Boston College and is already the first woman to play a position besides kicker in a men’s pro football game, having carried the ball three times for the Revolution for a total of -1 yard in a February 2014 preseason game. She played linebacker and safety during her time in women’s leagues.

According to Welter’s LinkedIn page she has a master’s degree in sports psychology and a Ph.D in psychology from a for-profit online institution called Capella University.