Five Fast Facts About The NFL’s Historic Hire Kathryn Smith
Posted On Jan 24, 2016
The obvious question to Beyoncé’s hit song, Who Run the World, has finally been answered. (Girls!) Last week, the Buffalo Bills announced Kathryn Smith as the special team’s quality control coach, making her the first woman to hold the full-time coaching title within the NFL.
This isn’t the first time the NFL has defied the odds by challenging the gender dynamics within the professional sports league. Rewind back to last year and you’ll recall Sarah Thomas becoming the first female full-time official. Or take it back a step further when Jen Welter was named as the NFL’s first woman coach.
Wow! We love to see women breaking the mold and shattering the glass ceiling in the face of adversity and gender dynamics.
In an official statement via the team’s [Buffalo Bills] website, head coach Rex Ryan stated:
“Kathryn Smith has done an outstanding job in the seven years that she has worked with our staff. 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.”
If you’re wondering who this sport’s trailblazer is that has just solidified her place in athletic history, here are five fast facts you should probably know.
- While in high school at Christian Brothers Academy, she participated in a variety of sports including swimming, bowling, and lacrosse, graduating in 2003.
- Within the same year, she began her career in the NFL as a game day/special events intern for the Jets – (cue Drake) “started from the bottom now” she’s “here.” This has been 13 years in the making!
- According to Smith’s LinkedIn profile, she was destined for sports history greatness as she is a 2007 graduate of St. John’s University with a degree in sports management and a minor in business.
- In her current role, Smith will replace former NFL safety Michael Hamlin. Earlier this month it was released that he would not be extending his contract.
- Grace Jones and Tom Cruise are a few celebs from the great city of Syracuse. Now you can add Kathryn’s name to the long lineage of tastemakers that were established here. New York, stand up!
Without further ado, congrats Ms. Kathryn Smith! Thank you for igniting a path for other women to follow, especially those who are in pursuit of fulfilling a sports dream and turning it into a reality. Let us know in the comments below, who are some of your fave women influencers within the realm of sports?