Although Jen Welter was hired as the Arizona Cardinals’ intern coach on a temporary basis, she still becomes the National Football League’s (NFL) first female coach.
Welter, who is now 37 years old, became the team’s intern coach in July and lost no time in establishing a bond with the players. Since she has a Ph.D. in psychology, the players called her Dr. J.
In spite of the excellent relationship she developed with the Cardinals, many wondered if the players would listen to a female coach. But Welter said that they do listen simply because they are eager to win. She said: “It’s not about whether it’s coming from a male or a female, it’s like ‘Do you have something that can help me and if you do, I’m going to listen and be receptive.’”
Welter is sure to know the ins and outs of establishing a bond with NFL players because she had been a professional football player for 14 years. When she was the running back of the Texas Revolution, which was previously an all-male team, she achieved many serious hits. And now, she has succeeded in breaking the league’s coaching barrier.
Bruce Arians, the coach of the Cardinals, says that the league has nothing to do with hiring Welter. He hired her because her passion for football, enthusiasm, and resume impressed him.
The team doesn’t plan to hire her as a full-time coach, but she has coached enough to be considered as a role model for women aspiring to become NFL coaches.