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Bills hire Kathryn Smith, the NFL's first female full-time assistant coach

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Kathryn Smith will join their staff next season as a special teams quality control coach.

Last offseason, the Arizona Cardinals made history when they hired Jen Welter to be a training-camp assistant coach. The Buffalo Bills are going a step further this year, bringing aboard the first ever full-time female assistant coach in NFL history.

The Bills on Wednesday announced the hire of Kathryn Smith as their special teams quality control coach.

"Kathryn Smith has done an outstanding job in the seven years that she has worked with our staff," Bills head coach Rex Ryan said in a statement. "She certainly deserves this promotion based on her knowledge and strong commitment, just to name a couple of her outstanding qualities, and I just know she’s going to do a great job serving in the role of Quality Control-Special Teams."

Smith first worked as an administrative assistant under Rex Ryan during his final year with the New York Jets before following him to Buffalo this season. Before that, she was a player personnel assistant with the Jets.

This is a low-level assignment for Smith, but still a progressive move for the Bills organization that continues a run of historical female hires in the NFL. Last August, Sarah Thomas was hired as the first ever female referee in league history.