Kathryn Smith hired by Bills as NFL’s first full-time female coach

The Buffalo Bills made history by hiring the NFL’s first female full-time coach, naming Kathryn Smith as a special teams quality control coach.

Smith served as the administrative assistant to head coach Rex Ryan this season after working for 12 years for the New York Jets, including the final six with Ryan as Jets head coach.

“Kathryn Smith has done an outstanding job in the seven years that she has worked with our staff,” Ryan said in a statement. “She certainly deserves this promotion based on her knowledge and strong commitment, just to name a couple of her outstanding qualities, and I just know she’s going to do a great job serving in the role of Quality Control-Special Teams.”

“Kathryn has been working in a football administrative role and assisted the assistant coaches for years. She has proven that she’s ready for the next step, so I’m excited and proud for her with this opportunity. She will work with [special teams coordinator] Danny Crossman and [special teams assistant] Eric Smith involving a number of responsibilities.”

Smith’s hiring comes after the Arizona Cardinals hired Jen Welter to serve as their inside linebackers coach during training camp last summer.

Ryan said in a statement that he consulted with Cardinals coach Bruce Arians about Welter.

“[Kathryn Smith] has proven that she’s ready for the next step, so I’m excited and proud for her with this opportunity.”

Bills coach Rex Ryan, in promoting Smyth to an assistant coaching role

“You can see the success some of these young ladies are having in the coaching profession, such as the young lady that is an assistant to Coach (Gregg) Popovich at the San Antonio Spurs,” Ryan said, referencing Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon, the NBA’s first-ever full-time female coach, “and realize how exciting this is for women like Kathryn Smith as well as the Bills organization.”

Smith joined the Jets in 2003 as a game-day/special events intern before being named a college scouting intern in 2005 and a player personnel assistant in 2007. She became the assistant to Ryan in 2014.

Smith replaces Michael Hamlin, who the Bills announced earlier this month would not return as special teams quality control coach.

source: espn.com by Kathryn Smith

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