With March being Women’s History Month, the news that Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians will work to create a full-time female coaching position for the Buccaneers was great timing.
In my lifetime I have had the genuine pleasure of seeing so many glass ceilings shattered. Watched so many stereotypes be proven myth. Witnessed so many “why’s” become “why not’s.”
Being a child of the 70’s gave me great musical taste, an appreciation for bell-bottom pants, and an awareness that our moms, our grandmas, and even my wife had to face challenges that I didn’t have to. Fortunately, as a father of two beautiful girls, Kaitlyn and Rowan, I take ease and pleasure in seeing all the little and big steps being made by women every day.
When American football player and coach Dr. Jen Welter was first brought onto the staff of the 2015 Arizona Cardinals under Bruce Arians, becoming the first female coach at the NFL level, it was a seismic event.
The skilled player/coach who played rugby at Boston College and was a veteran of both semi-professional and professional football teams could coach, no surprise there. But to see the acceptance of Dr. Welter by all of the players and coaches, football fans young and old, and the NFL was encouraging. Serving as an intern and leaving the team after the third preseason game, Dr. Jen Welter had obliterated the myth that NFL-caliber players would not succeed under a female coach.
The involvement of more women in all positions in the Alliance of American Football (AAF) has been one of the shining examples of the league. Now a month into its inaugural season, the younger sibling to the NFL employed three women as coaches. Among the three is Jen Welter who currently is the defensive specialist for the Atlanta Legends, Lo locust, a defensive line specialist with the Birmingham Iron, and Arizona Hot Shots wideouts assistant Jennifer King. During a month we celebrate women’s history, let us also celebrate that great things they will continue to accomplish in the future.