Sowers hired by San Francisco 49ers

Katie Sowers is used to tackling obstacles in her way; she’s played football since she was a child and even played professionally in the Women’s Football Alliance. But recently, Sowers took down one of the biggest barriers in her way — and in the way of countless others.

According to ThinkProgressSowers was recently hired by the San Francisco 49ers as an offensive assistant, not only making her “the second full-time assistant coach in the NFL,” but also “the first openly LGBTQ coach in NFL history.” Her move to a full-time position follows a stint working as a scouting intern for the Atlanta Falcons, says ThinkProgress, where she got to know and later work with then-offensive coordinator for the Falcons  Kyle Shanahan (now the 49ers head coach).

ThinkProgress also reports that Sowers began working this summer as a coaching intern with the 49ers through the Bill Walsh NFL Diversity Fellowship program, which led to her full-time position. As an offensive assistant, ThinkProgress says Sowers will “help break down film, help with practice scripts and player rotations, and generally assist the wide receivers in their day-to-day preparations.”

Speaking with OutSports about her position and the influence diversity can have in pro sports, Sowers shared that seeing women work in football never seemed possible when she was a child.

“I would have loved to see women in this role when I was growing up because I think it would have allowed me to follow my passion even earlier,” she said.

But now that she has broken into the role, Sowers said that creative a diverse and inclusive environment where people feel comfortable being themselves should become a priority.

“The more we can create an environment that welcomes all types of people,” she told OutSports, “no matter their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, the more we can help ease the pain and burden that many carry every day.”

Congratulations, Katie!

 

A first down in football history

One high school football player just made history.

According to Glamour,  18-year-old Becca Longo of Basha High School in Chandler, Arizona signed her way into history, becoming the “the first woman to land a NCAA scholarship at the Division II level or higher” when she signed a letter of intent to play college football at Adams State University.

The current senior started her football career in her sophomore year, working her way up to be a kicker on the team, says Glamour. With her sights set on playing college ball, Glamour reports Longo “compiled a film reel of some of her greatest moments on the team and included it with her applications,” one of which went to Adams State.

As if her impressive reel weren’t enough to get her noticed, Glamour says Longo took matters into her own hands yet again, following the university’s head coach Timm Rosenbach on Twitter.

“She’s kind of put herself out there to let everyone know she wants to do this,” head coach Rosenbach told CNN, according to Glamour. “If she’s able to compete at a level we think she’s able to compete at, we should afford her that opportunity to do that.”

After visiting the school in February, Longo was later offered a scholarship to play football — and if that’s not enough, Glamour says she will also play basketball for the university.