The NFL’s Buffalo Bills have made history by hiring the first female full-time coach in the league.
Kathryn Smith was announced as the team’s new quality control – special teams coach.
BREAKING: Kathryn Smith is the Bills new special teams quality control coach, the first full-time female NFL coach! pic.twitter.com/r2MkWX4pR3— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) January 21, 2016
Smith is no stranger to the game; she has experience working with the Bills under head coach Rex Ryan as his administrative assistance and worked with the New York Jets for 12 years, also under Ryan’s tutelage.
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“Kathryn Smith has done an outstanding job in the seven years that she has worked with our staff,” Ryan said in a statement on the team’s website. “She certainly deserves this promotion based on her knowledge and strong commitment, just to name a couple of her outstanding qualities, and I just know she’s going to do a great job serving in the role of Quality Control-Special Teams.”
There have been other women to hold positions with professional sports teams — such as assistant coach Becky Hammonwho was hired by the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs in 2014 and Nancy Lieberman with the Sacramento Kings —but Smith is blazing the trail for the NFL.
It’s no secret that the professional sports world is male-dominated, which is why these milestones are so important.
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Qualified women struggle to infiltrate the all-boys club, even for positions off the field as TV analysts and commentators.
Smith is setting an example for all women and girls who wish to pursue a career in professional sports but think it is unattainable.
It may have taken almost 100 years since the NFL was founded in 1920, but it’s better late than never.
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