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Buffalo Bills hire Kathryn Smith - first ever full-time female assistant in the NFL

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Football News

The Buffalo Bills have made NFL history today after making the first-ever full-time female assistant coaching hire.

As confirmed by the AFC East franchise themselves, Kathryn Smith has been appointed to the role of special teams quality control coach.

Smith will move from her role as Rex Ryan's administrative assistant, a position she occupied during the 2015 season after following the head coach from the New York Jets where she had worked for the previous 12 years.


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Speaking in an official statement, Ryan heralded the qualities of Smith and backed her to do a "great job."

"Kathryn Smith has done an outstanding job in the seven years that she has worked with our staff," said the Bills coach. 

"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."

Of course, whilst Smith will be judged on her ability to progress the Bills' special teams unit, her promotion has wide ramifications beyond the Buffalo franchise.

Woman have filled various roles at NFL teams throughout the years - from front office positions to scouting duties - but Smith is blazing a trail as the first to be handed a coaching position.

Jen Welter served as the Arizona Cardinals' inside linebackers coach during last year's training camp, but Smith is the first female to fill a full-time role.

Current Bills star Richie Incognito was amongst the first to congratulate Smith on her promotion:

She will assist Danny Crossman, Buffalo's special teams coordinator, as the team begins work for the 2016 season.

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