Less than a year after the Arizona Cardinals hired Jen Welter to serve as a training-camp assistant coach, Kathryn Smith has been announced as the Buffalo Bills’ quality control-special teams coach today [Wednesday, January 20 2016].
In a first for a woman in the NFL, Smith’s position is full-time.
“Kathryn Smith has done an outstanding job in the seven years that she has worked with our staff,” said Bills coach Rex 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.
“I consulted with Bruce Arians on this since he was really the first NFL head coach to make this kind of move when he hired a female linebackers coach through the summer. 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 (Greg) Popovich at the San Antonio Spurs, and realize how exciting this is for women like Kathryn Smith as well as the Bills organization.”
Smith served as an administrative assistant under Ryan this past season and held the same role with him in his final season as the New York Jets coach in 2014. She also worked as a player personnel assistant with the Jets for seven years.