The NFL Just Hired Its First Female Coach Ever

Meet our new hero, Jen Welter.

The Arizona Cardinals just made history by hiring the first female coach the NFL has ever had. Dr. Jen Welter, 37, will be an assistant coaching intern (opens in new tab) working with inside linebackers for training camp and the preseason—and she is the fist woman ever to hold a coaching title of any kind in the NFL. 

This isn't just a big moment for female sports fans—it's a big moment for all of us: More women in men's sports means more women everywhere. And as Welter aptly expressed after the news broke, not every Cinderella story has to be about a dress:

"She came for an OTA [organized team activity] and I met her, and I thought she was the type of person that could handle this in a very positive way for women and open that door," Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said of his new hire.

Welter has a long history of dominating in her sports career—she's played on both men's and women's professional football leagues, and became the first woman to hold a non-kicking position when she was a running back with the Revolution last year. According to Sports Illustrated (opens in new tab), she also served as a linebackers coach for the team. 

And she's not the only woman making history in sports this year. In April, Sarah Thomas was hired as the first female full-time on-field official for the NFL (opens in new tab), and Becky Hammon became the NBA's first female coach (opens in new tab).

Times—they are (thankfully) a changin'.

Samantha Leal is the Deputy Editor at Well+Good, where she spends most of her day thinking of new ideas across platforms, bringing on new writers, overseeing the day-to-day of the website, and working with the awesome team to produce the best stories and packages. Before W+G, she was the Senior Web Editor for Marie Claire and the Deputy Editor for Latina.com, with bylines all over the internet. Graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University with a minor in African history, she’s written everything from travel guides to political op-eds to wine explainers (currently enrolled in the WSET program) to celebrity profiles. Find her online pretty much everywhere @samanthajoleal.