Cardinals hailed for hiring NFL's first female coach

Tue Jul 28, 2015 6:09pm EDT
 
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(Reuters) - The Arizona Cardinals were being hailed as groundbreakers on Tuesday after hiring the National Football League's first female coach.

The Cardinals on Monday hired Jen Welter, a 37-year-old former pro football player, to be a coaching intern during training camp this year, working with inside linebackers.

Football fans took to Twitter to express their sentiments about Welter's hiring.

"#NFLTrainingCamp hasn't even started and the @AZCardinals are already winning," The Dude (@Calicardsfan) said.

Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said the internship would be a great opportunity that could "open some doors" for Welter.

"Coaching is nothing more than teaching," Arians said in a statement on Monday. "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.'"

Welter, who has a Ph.D. in psychology, joins the Cardinals' staff after playing for the Texas Revolution of the Indoor Football League. She became the first female non-kicker to play in a men's professional league when she played running back for the Revolution in 2014.

"I could not have dreamed big enough to have dreamed this day would ever come," Welter told reporters on Tuesday. "The last 24 hours has really just been getting wrapped up in the wings of the Cardinals."

She said she would feel "honored" to be considered a trailblazer for other women wanting to follow in her footsteps.   Continued...

 
Jan 3, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Arizona Cardinals strong safety Tony Jefferson (22) reacts after being called for pass interference during the third quarter against the Carolina Panthers in the 2014 NFC Wild Card playoff football game at Bank of America Stadium. Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports