Buffalo Bills make Kathryn Smith the NFL’s first full-time female coach

Published: Thursday 21st January 2016 by The News Editor

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The Buffalo Bills have appointed the NFL’s first female full-time coach in naming Kathryn Smith as their quality control-special teams coach.

Smith joined the Bills staff last year as an administrative assistant to head coach Rex Ryan, having previously worked in a variety of roles for his former team the New York Jets.

“Kathryn Smith has done an outstanding job in the seven years that she has worked with our staff,” Ryan said.

“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.”

Last summer, Jen Welter completed a six-week training camp internship coaching inside linebackers for the Arizona Cardinals, and Ryan said he had spoken to Cardinals coach Bruce Arians before naming Smith to the position.

“I consulted with Bruce Arians on this since he was really the first NFL head coach to make this kind of move when he hired a female linebackers coach through the summer,” he said.

In 2014, the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs named six-time WNBA all-star Becky Hammon as an assistant coach, another move which Ryan cited in announcing Smith’s appointment.

“You can see the success some of these young ladies are having in the coaching profession, such as the young lady that is an assistant to Coach (Gregg) Popovich at the San Antonio Spurs, and realise how exciting this is for women like Kathryn Smith as well as the Bills organisation.”

Smith has spent 13 years in the NFL, having begun work as a gameday/special events intern for the Jets in 2003. She later became a college scouting intern before being promoted to player personnel assistant in 2007 and becoming assistant to the head coach in 2014.

Bills offensive lineman Richie Incognito welcomed Smith’s appointment on Twitter.

“Congrats Kathryn!! I know you will do a great job,” Incognito wrote.

Published: Thursday 21st January 2016 by The News Editor

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