On Wednesday, the Buffalo Bills announced Kathryn Smith as their first full-time female coach. Smith will serve as their quality control-special teams coach.

Last season, Smith worked under the team’s head coach Rex Ryan as an administrative assistant, according to NPR, and previously worked with the New York Jets for 12 years while Ryan was the leader of that team as well.

In 2014, the San Antonio Spurs hired Becky Hammon as their first female assistant coach, and Ryan said that example was the catalyst for Smith’s hire. Soon after, Nancy Lieberman was hired by the Sacramento Kings.

“You can see the success some of these young ladies are having in the coaching profession ... and realize how exciting this is for women like Kathryn Smith as well as the Bills organization,” Ryan said.


There’s precedent for this from the Bills specifically: in 1986, the team also hired Linda Bogdan, the NFL’s first woman scout.

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