Red Zone

Chiefs-Cardinals game a night of firsts for two women

Jen Welter, a former college rugby player who was with the Texas Revolution in the Indoor Football League, has been hired as a training camp coach by the Arizona Cardinals.
Jen Welter, a former college rugby player who was with the Texas Revolution in the Indoor Football League, has been hired as a training camp coach by the Arizona Cardinals. Jen Welter on Twitter

A historical footnote: Saturday’s Chiefs-Cardinals preseason game marked the first NFL contest with a female assistant coach on the sideline. Jen Welter is an intern with the Cardinals who is coaching inside linebackers. Cardinals coach Bruce Arians offered high praise earlier this week.

“She’s been fantastic, about 100 times more than I thought it would be,” Arians told reporters who cover the Cardinals. “It’s been great. Players have embraced her as a coach. They listen. She’s got really good insight. They call her ‘Dr. J’ There’s a really good rapport out there right now.”

Welter was not the only pioneer, as Sarah Thomas, the league’s first full-time female on-field official, made her preseason debut. Welter is serving a six-week coaching internship that will include Arizona’s training camp and four preseason games. She was the first woman to play a non-kicking position on a men’s professional football team last year with the Texas Revolution of the Indoor Football League.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to bkerkhoff@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BlairKerkhoff.

  Comments