Kathryn Smith Named the First Full-Time Female Coach in the NFL

By Meredith Lepore

This may be better than your team winning the Super Bowl. The Buffalo Bills became the first team in the NFL to hire a woman as a full-time coach. Kathryn Smith has been named as a special teams quality control coach for The Bills. She previously was the administrative assistant to head Bills coach Rex Ryan this season, and before that worked for 12 years for the New York Jets, including the final six years with Ryan as Jets head coach.

"Kathryn Smith has done an outstanding job in the seven years that she has worked with our staff,” 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.” It should be noted that last year Jen Welter was named as the NFL’s first female assistant coaching intern. Smith’s father, Robert, told Syracuse.com [Smith grew up in Syracuse], “This just goes to show that the sky’s the limit. This is nothing that we ever thought would ever happen. Never even considered it. She always wanted to be on the team side of the organization with the Jets and now with the Bills. She didn’t want to be on the business side, she wanted to be with the team. But to be in the ranks of coaching just wasn’t anything I ever thought of, or her mother, either.” The Buffalo Bills have a history of promoting strong women. Linda Bogdan, the daughter of former Bills owner Ralph Wilson, was the NFL’s first female scout and served as a vice president and Buffalo’s assistant director of college and pro scouting. She died in 2009 from cancer after 23 years working with the team.

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Photo Credit: Buffalo Bills/Twitter