Kathryn Smith Named 1st Female NFL Assistant Coach
Buffalo Bills pushed the barriers with the hiring Wednesday of Kathryn Smith to special teams quality control. She became the first woman to hold a position of Assistant to the full-time coach in the NFL.
Smith was administrative assistant Rex Ryan since 2014, his last year with the New York Jets commands. She made her first steps in the NFL in 2003 during an internship with training.
In 2005, Smith began to recruit players for the Jets, and two years later, made her an assistant to player personnel. This is the position held before becoming the administrative assistant Ryan, coach of the Bills.
“Kathryn certainly deserves this appointment with his knowledge and dedication, among other outstanding qualities, and I am sure she will do an excellent job,” Ryan said.
Shattering the glass ceiling. Congrats, Kathryn!
— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) January 21, 2016
“I consulted with Bruce Arians on this since he was really the first NFL head coach to make this kind of move when he hired a female linebackers coach through the summer,” said Ryan, referring to Jen Welter, who worked last summer as a coach for the Arizona Cardinals during training camp.
“You can see the success some of these young ladies are having in the coaching profession, such as [Becky Hammon], an assistant to Coach [Greg] Popovich at the San Antonio Spurs, and realize how exciting this is for women like Kathryn Smith as well as the Bills organization.”
Last year the NFL hired Sarah Thomas as the first full-time game official.