The Arizona Cardinals hired Jen Welter as a training camp coaching intern, making her what the team believes to be the "first woman to hold a coaching position of any kind in the NFL." The team announced the addition on Monday and said Welter would work with the inside linebackers.
Welter was not hired as a full-time assistant, but will be one of seven coaching interns working with the team during training camp. She will bring plenty of experience as well, including coaching and playing. According to the Cardinals, Welter played 14 seasons professionally. Pro Player Insiders notes Welter became the first female to play a non-kicking position in men's professional football when she played running back for the Texas Revolution of the Indoor Football League in 2014. She went on to become an assistant coach for the Revolution.
"Coaching is nothing more than teaching," Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said in a release. "One thing I have learned from players is, ‘How are you going to make me better? If you can make me better, I don't care if you're the Green Hornet, man, I'll listen.' I really believe she'll have a great opportunity with this internship through training camp to open some doors for her."
Welter's addition to the Cardinals staff of coaching interns began following the NFL Scouting Combine. During a press conference there, Arians mentioned he would be open to hiring a female coach if one could help. After that, Devin Wyman, the head coach of the Revolution, contacted Arians and told him about Welter.
Welter celebrated the news on Twitter.
I'm honored to be part of the #BIRDGANG! Love the #footballfamily here with the #ArizonaCardinals #NFL... http://t.co/vPdmyKH2hi— Dr. Jen Welter (@jwelter47) July 28, 2015
Arizona formally introduced her at a press conference on Tuesday which ended with this:
Coach @jwelter47, we are ready for football. #AZCardinals | #CardsCamp pic.twitter.com/Sj0MXmbq2W— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) July 29, 2015
The Cardinals are scheduled to begin training camp on August 1.