The Arizona Cardinals decision to hire Jen Welter through training camp and the preseason made history by bestowing a coaching position on a woman for the first time in the NFL.
The Cardinals made the announcement on Monday and Welter will be introduced at a news conference on Tuesday.
“I wanted to open that door,” Arizona coach Bruce Arians stated. “Coaching is nothing more than teaching. The one thing I’ve learned from players: all they want to know is ‘How you going to make me better? If you can make me better, I don’t [care] if you’re the Green Hornet. I’ll listen.”
According to the Arizona Republic Welter will be one of seven coaching interns working with the Cardinals this summer. Arians said that he conferred with several of the team’s veteran players and “they were all cool.” He insisted that Welter’s presence will not be a distraction.
NBC Sports reported that the 37-year-old former rugby player at Boston College and running back for the Indoor Football League’s Texas Revolution will work with the Cardinals’ inside linebackers. Welter, who became the first female to play a non-kicking position in a men’s pro football league, brings a master’s degree in sport psychology and a Ph.D. in psychology with her to the gridiron.
Earlier in the year Sarah Thomas became the first female on-field referee hired by the NFL. In the NBA Becky Hammon coached the NBA San Antonio Spurs’ summer league team. She spent the 2014-15 season as an assistant coach on Gregg Popovich’s staff.