ASHBURN, Va. (WAVY) — The Washington Redskins are looking to hire assistant coach Jennifer King, who would become the NFL’s first ever full-time black female assistant coach, according to reports.
King, who served as an offensive assistant with Dartmouth College in 2019, would join new head coach Ron Rivera’s staff as an offensive assistant. She worked the past two summers as a wide receivers coaching intern with the Carolina Panthers, who let Rivera go from his head coaching role in December after nearly 9 years at the helm.
The news was first reported by the Athletic.
King is a Rockingham County, North Carolina, native who played both basketball and softball at Guilford College before joining the Women’s Football Alliance, winning a 2018 championship with the New York Sharks.
She also recently worked as an assistant wide receivers coach in the now defunct Alliance of American Football, and coached the John & Wales University women’s basketball team to a Division II championship in 2018.
ESPN reported that King first met Rivera in 2016 at an NFL Women’s Careers in Football Forum, and Rivera told ESPN in 2018 he envisioned a woman serving as a coordinator or head coach on an NFL staff in the future.
So far only a handful of women have worked as coaches in the NFL.
In 2017, Collette Smith was the first black female assistant in the NFL when she interned with the New York Jets, two years after Jen Welter became the first ever woman to work with an NFL coaching staff. Welter served as intern with Arizona, and later that year the Buffalo Bills hired Kathryn Smith as the first full-time female coach in NFL history.
Katie Sowers of the San Francisco 49ers is the only female coach to have lasted more than one season on an NFL staff. She’s also the league’s first openly LGBTQ coach.