Women's Sport: Division One sees first woman take up a position coach role

History has been made in college American football as Heather Marini has become the first woman to be a Division I position coach.

Since 2019 Marini worked in a support role at Brown University’s Bears as an offensive quality control assistant. She has been promoted to the program’s quarterbacks coach, the first time a woman has been a position coach in Division I college football. 

In the announcement of Marini’s new role, head coach James Perry said: “In one season with our program, Heather has done a great job for us. She has proven through her efforts in the office every day with us in an off-the-field role that she’s ready to run the quarterback room.”

Perry added: “For the past three years, I’ve been fortunate to have three different women on my staffs, also including Phoebe Schecter and Sue Lizotte.

“Promoting Heather to our quarterbacks coach makes us a stronger program and I know she will be a pioneer in the expanding roles women have in collegiate football.”

Before joining Brown, Marini worked as a summer scouting specialist at the New York Jets. Her move to the University came after she took part in a Women’s Careers in Football forum.  

Marini, who is Australian, played quarterback herself for the Gridiron Victoria Women’s Tackle Football team and the Monash Warriors Women’s Gridiron club.

Her appointment is the latest example of women breaking barriers and making history in American football. In January, Katie Sowers, the San Francisco 49ers offensive assistant coach became the first woman to coach a team in a Super Bowl.

This year Jen Welter, the first woman to work in the NFL in a coaching role was part of more history as she was included in the video game Madden NFL 20.

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