The NFL has finally broken one long standing gender barrier!
Dr. Jen Welter has been hired by the Arizona Cardinals football team as an assistant coaching intern for training camp and the preseason, making her the first female coach in NFL history.
Welter, 37, was a linebacker for 14 years on the Women's Football Alliance team, the Dallas Diamonds, and became the first female ever in a non-kicking position on a men's football team, when she played running back and special teams for the Indoor Football League's Texas Revolution.
"Coaching is nothing more than teaching," said Arizona head coach Bruce Arians of Welter's hire. "One thing I have learned from players is, ‘How are you going to make me better? If you can make me better, I don’t care if you’re the Green Hornet, man, I’ll listen.’ I really believe she’ll have a great opportunity with this internship through training camp to open some doors for her."
Welter, who will be working with the Cardinals' linebackers, tweeted "Thank you @AZCardinals & @BruceArians & everyone here in #Phoenix. I am honored to join this amazing #footballfamily."
Beyond her athletic career, Welter brings an impressive resume to the Cardinals. The coach has an M.D. in sports psychology and a Ph.D. in psychology. After her hire, while there were some losers who tweeted out dumb, negative, sexist things, the majority of the response was overwhelmingly positive.
Ashton Kutcher shared her story
along with a sweet message
referencing his 10-month-old daughter. “Thank you for paving the way for Wyatt,” he wrote.
Vice President Joe Biden also shared his support, tweeting, "Breaking barriers and reaching new heights. Congratulations to Jen Welter. This is what progress looks like."
Another inspiring sports figure is Carli Lloyd, of the world champion US National Women's soccer team! She told ET's Kevin Frazier
that the team's World Cup victory "inspired the world."
"No longer are the days where I just kind of fly under the radar," she said
. "Everybody’s recognizing me. Everybody wants pictures. They feel inspired. It’s very cool."