Jennifer King just made history as the first Black woman to be hired as a full-time coaching intern for the NFL, according to The Washington Post. She is also the first woman to work for the team in any capacity.
King will work with the offensive staff, while also working one-on-one with the running backs. Her job will model the responsibilities of a full-time assistant coach. However, her aspirations don’t stop there, she’s aiming for more.
“Ultimately, I would love to be a coordinator,” she said in an interview with Redskins Nation.
King is the former women’s basketball coach at Johnson & Wales University in North Carolina, where she led the team to a Division II championship in 2018, ESPN reports. King played professional football for the New York Sharks in the Women’s Football Alliance and served as an assistant receivers coach for the Arizona Hotshots in the Alliance of American Football.
“Jennifer is a bright young coach and will be a great addition to our staff,” head coach Ron Rivera said in a statement. “Her familiarity with my expectations as a coach and my firsthand knowledge of her work ethic and preparation were big factors in bringing her to the Washington Football Team.”
King and Rivera are reunited after working together for the Carolina Panthers in 2018 and 2019, where King was an intern. During that time Rivera served as the team’s head coach. After her time with the Panthers, King served as an offensive assistant for Dartmouth College’s football team in 2019.
The move to hire King is an important mark for the NFL, which has been predominantly white and male, especially at the coaching level.
“Now, I’m at the bottom of the food chain, but I’ve been moving up. I’m learning a lot and I’m super excited to be here and work with [offensive coordinator] Scott [Turner] and his staff,” King said.