Dr. Jen Welter, the first female to coach in the NFL, shared the story behind her title with us on August 27, 2017.
In the summer of 2015, Dr. Welter served as a linebackers coach for the Arizona Cardinals, a period of time defined by the bond she has formed with the players. Widely known as a trailblazer and pioneer in professional football, becoming the first woman to coach in the NFL was only her most recent first. She most recently served as a defensive specialist for the Alliance of American Football (AAF).
Following her record-breaking accomplishment with the Cardinals, Welter became the head coach of the first Australian women’s national team in 2017. Widely known as a trailblazer and pioneer in professional football, Welter became the first woman to play running back in a men’s professional football league with the Texas Revolution. In early 2015, Welter was hired as the first female coach in men’s professional football, helping coach the most successful Revolution season in franchise history. Prior to joining the world of men’s professional football, Welter had a highly decorated 14-year career in women’s professional football which included four World Championships, two gold medals as a member of Team USA in the 2010 and 2013 International Federation of American Football’s (IFAF) Women’s World Championship, and eight all-star selections. She was inducted into the first class of the Women’s Football Hall of Fame on November 30, 2018.
Welter is committed to increasing access and opportunities in football. To empower women through football, Welter designed her signature program, “A Day in the Life,” Camp which debuted with the Washington Redskins women’s program in 2015. She continues to create a range of camps for girls and women through her GRRRidiron Flag Football Camp, along with a number of other community initiatives like her Camp on the Corner program that brings football to youth in under-served areas. She released her first publication, “Play Big: Lessons in Being Limitless from the First Woman to Coach in the NFL” in 2017.
Welter has served on the advisory board for the NFL’s Pro Football Hall of Fame Game for Life Academy since 2017. She holds a doctorate degree in Psychology, a Master’s in Sport Psychology, and a Bachelor’s degree from Boston College.