The concept of female NFL coaches may seem foreign, but the idea is not too far-fetched. The Cardinals on Monday brought in Jen Welter as a training camp/preseason intern coaching the inside linebackers. Welter is believed to be the first ever female coach in the NFL.

Welter played college rugby and then transitioned to pro football, where she has played running back and special teams for the Texas Revolution of the Indoor Football League — a professional men’s league.  In addition to her playing career, Welter has a master’s degree in sports management and doctorate in psychology.

In a story published on the team’s website, the Cardinals say the coach of the Revolution contacted Cardinals coach Bruce Arians in response to his comments saying that he would be open to a female coach.

“She came for an OTA and I met her, and I thought she was the type of person that could handle this in a very positive way for women and open that door,” Arians said.

This is another big step for women as they try to break into coaching male sports. Becky Hammon became the first female coach in the NBA last year, and then she led the Spurs’ summer league team to a championship. Additionally, the NFL now has its first full-time female official.


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