Jen Welter named Arizona Cardinals assistant coach
After the success of the NBA’s first female head coach, Becky Hammon, in the 2015 Summer League, we can add one more name to the list of first female coaches in men’s professional sports. Jen Welter has been hired as an assistant coaching intern in the NFL for the Arizona Cardinals and she will be coaching inside linebackers during training camp and preseason games. Mark the NFL down as the second major professional sports league to hire a female coach–a move that will surely draw some criticism.
Becky Hammon might be a comparable scenario to that of Jackie Robinson and what he did for African-Americans in Major League Baseball, and she has become a pioneer for female coaches at this point. With the Cardinals’ hiring of Jen Welter as the first female coach in the NFL, they too are trying to pave the way for a possible female coach amongst the upper ranks of coaching and everyone should applaud them for that.
Naysayers will try to demoralize this transition in men’s professional sports, but it is a change that many are okay with, myself included. If a certain demographic is never given the chance to prove that they can do something similar to another race or sex, then how can we be certain that they don’t have what it takes to be successful? Whenever change occurs we either adapt or get left behind. In terms of female coaches now being recognized for what they can do at the professional level, it will be an adaptation that quite possibly will cause a seismic shift in the attention from fans, and could change the coaching landscape as we have become accustomed to.
Josh Weinfuss from ESPN has provided five facts about Jen Welter that everyone should read, and she seems like a very tough woman. She’s a former rugby player that has her master’s in sports psychology, and has been coaching the Texas Revolution’s linebackers and special teams players. She has also suited up for the Texas Revolution, as she played running back and on special teams.
The Arizona Cardinals open training camp on Saturday, August 1, and we should all be paying attention to what Jen Welter has to offer as an assistant coaching intern. If the Cardinals’ linebackers play with an added ferocity, expect the name Jen Welter to become a name that will become a part of NFL history.
What are your thoughts on the hiring of Jen Welter? Is it a good move or a bad one for an NFL franchise? Leave your comments in the section below.
Dustin Brown covers the NFL for MFST, and you can follow him on Twitter @SprtsWritingMan.