WFA Grads Earn NFL Opportunities

This summer, football fans watched  an unprecedented number of women coaches reporting to NFL training camps.  With the exception of Phoebe Schecter of Great Britain, who is interning with the Buffalo Bills, this batch of football coaches found their path to the NFL through the Women’s Football Alliance.

Since Dr. Jen Welter received her Arizona Cardinals Internship in 2015, the NFL has experienced a revolution that points to a steady increase in the number of women we will see working along the NFL sidelines.  WFA players and coaches, along with women athletes everywhere, are also starting to see coaching opportunities at the high school level.

Newsweek Magazine says we are witnessing only the beginning for women working in the NFL.

From the New York Times to Sports Illustrated, the rise of women in the NFL has been well documented.  Enjoy reading the news about them and we hope you are as proud of them as we are!
Katie Sowers — WFA’s Kansas City Titans
2017 NFL’s First full-time position coach, San Francisco 49ers
2016 Atlanta Falcons Coaching Intern
• ESPN: 49ers keeping Katie Sowers on as assistant coach for the season (August 2017)
• Yahoo Sports:  Katie Sowers’ ascension to full-time coaching job with 49ers is more progress (August 2017)
•  San Francisco Chronicle:  Lesbian coach in the NFL? 49ers just see a coach (August 2017)
•  Fox Sports Coach Katie Sowers works with NFL icons in East-West Shrine Game (Jan 2016)

Stephanie Jackson — WFA’s Acadiana Zydeco
2017 Minnesota Vikings Scouting Intern
• Voices of the NFL’s Women’s Careers in Football Forum (Feb 2017)
•  Jackson native quarterbacks women’s tackle football team (July 2015)

Odessa Jenkins — WFA’s Dallas Elite
2017 Atlanta Falcons Intern Coach
•  Women’s World Cup Finals: Holes Opened for Top running backs like Odessa Jenkins (June 2017)

Stephanie Balochko — WFA’s Pittsburgh Passion
2017 Pittsburgh Steelers Coaching Intern
•  Steelers.com: A passion for football pays off (Aug 2017)
•  Female coach joins Steelers staff for preseason game (Aug 2017)
• Bleacher Report:  Slowly, Path to Hiring of NFL’s First Female Head Coach Is Taking Shape (Nov 2016)

Callie Brownson and Rachel Huhn — WFA’s D.C. Divas
2017 NY Jets Scouting Intern
• Detroit News: Monday’s NFL: First female scout tells her story; proud of the addition of the Brownson & Huhn (August 2017)

Collette Smith — WFA’s NY Sharks
2017 Coaching Intern for the NY Jets
• Sports Illustrated:  Jets hire Collette Smith to work training camp, make her first female coach in team history (May 2017)
• NY Daily News:  Jets to hire first woman coach who will work with defensive backs (May 2017)

Jen Welter – WFA’s Dallas Elite
2015 Inside Linebackers Coaching Intern for the Arizona Cardinals
• NFL.com:  Cards hire Jen Welter as NFL’s first female assistant coach (July 2015)
• Washington Post:  Who is Jen Welter?  (July 2015)
• New York Times:  Jen Welter Is Teaching Men, and Girls, as N.F.L.’s First Female Coach (August 2015)
• Bleacher Report:  Jen Welter on Becoming NFL’s 1st Female Coach: ‘It’s an Opportunity to Inspire’ (July 2015)
• Sports Illustrated:  The NFL’s First Female Coach (July 2015)
• Fox Sports:  NFL’s first woman ref, assistant coach meet before game (August 2015)
• CNN:  Jen Welter on coaching in the NFL: ‘Now it’s possible’ (September 2015)
• ESPN:  Jen Welter named coach of Team Australia for IFAF Women’s World Championship (Feb 2017)

Credit: FoxSports