While San Antonio Spurs coach Becky Hammon breaks the glass ceiling in the NBA, Dr. Jen Welter has joined the Arizona Cardinals as the first female coach in NFL history. According to NBC News, she’ll be coaching inside linebackers as an intern during the Cardinals’ training camp and preseason.

Welter, who was a rugby player at Boston College, played 14 seasons of women’s pro football, eventually becoming the first female running back, a non-kicking position, for the Texas Revolution of the Indoor Football League team, a men’s pro league. In 2010 and 2013, Welter won two gold medals with Team USA during the International Federation of American Football Women’s World Championships. And between all of that, she earned a master’s degree in sports psychology and a Ph.D in psychology.

Last year, Welter told Today, “I want little girls everywhere to grow up knowing they can do anything, even play football.” This won’t be the first time she’s coached men, either: Welter’s already coached for the Revolutions’ linebackers and special teams. In her ceiling punch, Welter joins Hammon and Sarah Thomas, who became the NFL’s first full-time female game official in April.


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