On Wednesday, the Buffalo Bills made history by becoming the first team in the NFL to hire a full-time female coach when they named Kathryn Smith as a special teams quality control coach!
Kathryn worked for the New York Jets for 12 seasons, and six under Buffalo’s current coach Rex Ryan while he was there before she became an administrative assistant for the Bills this past season.
Coach Ryan released a statement regarding the historic promotion, saying:
“Kathryn Smith has done an outstanding job in the seven years that she has worked with our staff. 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.”
The Bills coach went on to praise Smith by saying:
“Kathryn has been working in a football administrative role and assisted the assistant coaches for years. She has proven that she’s ready for the next step, so I’m excited and proud for her with this opportunity. She will work with [special teams coordinator] Danny Crossman and [special teams assistant] Eric Smith involving a number of responsibilities.”
The new coach will replace Michael Hamlin, who Buffalo announced would not be returning as the special teams quality control coach next year.
This landmark choice comes only six months after the Arizona Cardinals hired Jen Welter as an assistant coaching intern to work with inside linebackers during training camp as well as the pre-season.
Interestingly enough, Kathryn isn’t the first time the Bills made history hiring a woman though. Back in 1986 Linda Bogdan became the league’s first female scout for the New York team’s player personnel department.
This is a huge step for women in the NFL and we hope we see more hires like this in the future!