The Buffalo Bills named Kathryn Smith a quality control-special teams coach Wednesday, making her the NFL’s first full-time female coach. Smith joined the Bills in 2015 as the administrative assistant to new head coach Rex Ryan; previously she had spent 12 seasons with the Jets.
Quality control coaches don’t have a strict job description, but they usually spend very long hours breaking down tape, analyzing data, and presenting reports to coaches. It’s the very bottom rung of the NFL coaching profession, but also what Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley called, “the greatest job in football as far as learning,” and the starting point for numerous NFL head coaches.
Back in July, the Cardinals hired Jen Welter as a “training camp/preseason intern,” though as the title implies her job was only for preseason. The NBA has two female assistant coaches, Becky Hammon and Nancy Lieberman.
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