BREAKING the glass ceiling
In 2012, there was not a single female coach within the NFL, NBA, MLB, or NHL. In 10 years, some strides have been made.
As recently as 2016 though, 57% of women’s teams were coached by men, while only 3% of men’s teams were coached by women.
Meet some of the trailblazing women who have found their place as coaches despite the societal barriers and prejudices.
Becky Hammon became the first full-time female assistant coach in the NBA in 2014, working alongside Gregg Poppovich for the San Antonio Spurs.
NBA - San Antonio Spurs
Welter became the first female NFL coach in 2015, as an assistant coaching intern for training camp and preseason with the Arizona Cardinals.
NFL - Arizona Cardinals
Jennifer King became the first black female assistant coach in the NFL in 2021 after being promoted from intern with the Washington Commanders.
NFL - Washington Commanders
Sowers made double history as the first female to ever coach a Super Bowl (as offensive assistant coach) and the first ever openly gay NFL coach.
NFL - San Francisco 49ers
Dawn Braid became the first full-time female coach in the NHL in 2016, as a skating coach for the Arizona Coyotes.
NHL - Arizona Coyotes
Kim Wyant is the first woman to lead a men's soccer team to a NCAA tournament and one of very few female coaches in NCAA men's teams.
NCAA - NYU Men's Soccer
Emily Zaler, the Denver Broncos' strength and conditioning coach, became the first female coach in Broncos' history in 2020.
NFL - Denver Broncos
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