Women's Sports: For the first time in history a woman will coach in a Super Bowl

The San Francisco 49ers defeat of the Green Bay Packers on Sunday might not seem like a historic moment for women in sport on the face of it, but in fact, their NFC Championship victory has instigated a momentous moment for women in the NFL.

With their win, the Niners qualified for the Super Bowl LIV where they will face Kansas City Chiefs. As a result, Katie Sowers, the team’s offensive assistant coach, will be the first woman in history to coach in a Super Bowl. 

After the match at the weekend, Sowers tweeted: “Unreal night. Takin our talents to South Beach … Niners vs Chiefs … I couldn’t ask for a better game.”

Sowers became the second-ever woman to work in the NFL in a full-time coaching role when she joined the team in 2017, aged 33. She is also the first openly gay coach in the NFL.

The first woman to work full-time in an NFL coaching role is Kathryn Smith who was hired by the Buffalo Bills in 2016.

Following Sowers’ arrival in the NFL, four other women have become full-time coaches: Phoebe Schecter worked as a coaching intern for the Buffalo Bills, Kelsey Martinez was at the Oakland Raiders as a strength and conditioning coach and in 2019 Maral Javadifar and Lori Locust were both hired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

This comes as Jennifer Welter, the first woman to work in the NFL in a coaching role when she was hired as an assistant coaching intern for the Arizona Cardinals in 2015, was included in Madden NFL 20.

Sower’s historic achievement is a huge moment for women in coaching roles in the NFL and men’s leagues around the world. Her career is showing that women can reach the upper echelons of men’s sport and thrive. 

Billie Jean King took to Twitter to congratulate Sowers writing: “You have to see it to be it!” Who knows how many young girls will hear this news and have their dreams validated.

This is just the start for women coaching men’s teams. Like Billie Jean King herself, Sowers is a pioneer. This year’s Super Bowl just got even more exciting.

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