Tampa Bay Buccaneers become first NFL team to hire two female coaches

UPI

March 20 (UPI) — The Buccaneers hired two female assistant coaches, making Tampa Bay the first NFL franchise with two women on staff.

The Bucs added Lori Locust as assistant defensive line coach and Maral Javadifar as assistant strength and conditioning coach, the team announced Wednesday. Locust and Javadifar are the first full-time female coaches in the team’s history.

“I know how hard it can be to get that first opportunity to coach at the highest level of professional football,” Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said. “Sometimes, all you need is the right organization to offer up the opportunity. The Glazer family and our general manager, Jason Licht, were extremely supportive of my decision, and I know Maral and Lori will be great additions to my coaching staff.”

Locust started her coaching career after playing women’s semi-professional football for four years. She attended Temple University, where Arians coached at between 1983-88.

Locust joined the Buccaneers after serving as the Birmingham Iron’s defensive line coach in the Alliance of American Football. Last season, she was a defensive coaching intern for the Baltimore Ravens during the team’s training camp. She also worked as a defensive line/linebackers coach and co-special teams coordinator for the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks of the National Arena League.

“I have known Lori going back to my days at Temple University and I’ve seen firsthand just how knowledgeable and passionate she is about this game,” Arians said. “I was equally impressed with Maral’s background in performance training and physical therapy and I know she will be a valuable asset to our strength and conditioning program.”

Javadifar recently worked as a physical therapist at Avant Physical Therapy in Seattle. She completed her sports physical therapy residency at Virginia Commonwealth in August 2018. She worked as a physical therapist and trainer in Virginia before her time at VCU.

Javadifar previously played basketball at Pace University in New York City.

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