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First NFL woman coach added to Arizona Cardinals

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Cardinals' coach has always pressed for diversity in hiring practices

Bruce Arians, in his two years as Arizona Cardinals coach, has pressed for diversity on the gridiron. He has hired assistants as young as in their twenties or as old as in their seventies. Arians has now hired the first female NFL coach, Jen Welter.

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Jen Welter is among seven coaching interns working with the team over the summer. Her tenure in 2015 is expected to be brief.

Jen Welter is among seven coaching interns working with the team over the summer. Her tenure in 2015 is expected to be brief.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
7/28/2015 (4 years ago)

Published in Sports

Keywords: Arizona Cardinals, Bruce Arians, Jen Welter, diversity


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Welter will work with the teams inside linebackers throughout training camp and the preseason. Welter is widely believed to be the first woman to hold a coaching position of any kind in the NFL.

Welter is among seven coaching interns working with the team over the summer. Her tenure in 2015 is expected to be brief.


In another bid for diversity, former Steelers linebacker Levon Kirkland has become the inaugural participant in the fellowship named after the Cardinals owner.

Arians hinted last year that such a move was possible, though he had no specific plans then.

Arians was asked last spring about Sarah Thomas becoming the NFL's first female official. Arians said it would be reasonable to think a woman could also coach in the NFL.

Upon hearing these comments, Devin Wyman, the coach of the Indoor Football League's Texas Revolution, then called and recommended Welter, one of his assistants.

Welter visited the Cardinals during an organized team activity practice this summer.

"I wanted to open that door," Arians said. "Coaching is nothing more than teaching. The one thing I have learned from players: all they want to know is 'How you going to make me better? If you can make me better, I don't (care) if you're the Green Hornet. I'll listen.'


"I really believe she'll have a great opportunity through this internship to open some doors."

Veteran Cardinals are reported "they were all cool" with the hiring of Welter. "It's not going to be a distraction in any way."

Jen Welter reportedly became the first woman non-kicker or placekick-holder to play in a men's pro football game.

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