Washington Makes Jennifer King NFL's 1st African-American Female Assistant Coach

WFT makes King first African-American female assistant coach originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Jennifer King became the first African-American woman in NFL history to be named an assistant position coach Tuesday, when the Washington Football Team announced that she had been promoted to assistant running backs coach after spending the 2020 season as a full-time coaching intern.

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“Coach King is well deserving of the promotion to assistant running backs coach,” head coach Ron Rivera said in a statement. “She came to Washington eager for the opportunity to work as a full-year coaching intern and learn from our staff…She demonstrated all of the qualities that are needed to work full-time on my staff. She is a hard worked, a great communicator and a quality person.”

King is just the second female assistant position coach in the NFL, joining Tampa Bay Buccaneers assistant defensive line coach Lori Locust as the only women yet to rise that high in the coaching ranks. Locust, assistant strength and conditioning coach Maral Javadifar and the Buccaneers faced off against King and the Washington Football Team in the Wild Card round, marking the first time that two teams each with a woman working full-time on its coaching staff played each other in a playoff game.

Washington posted a video on Twitter of American tennis legend and gender equality activist Billie Jean King congratulating her for the promotion.

“In a new history-making job, you will inspire generations of children,” Billie Jean King said. “Because if you can see it, you can be it.”

King will work directly under running backs coach Randy Jordan after doing so for much of last season. Washington’s offense racked up over 1,600 rushing yards in 2020 with 18 touchdowns on the ground.

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