Jennifer King Became First Black Female Position Coach in NFL History

In Summary

The Washington Football Team assistant running backs coach spent the 2020 season as a coaching intern.

Jennifer King continues to make history in the National Football League.  

The assistant running backs coach for the Washington Football Team spent the 2020 season as a coaching intern. However, because of the team’s COVID-19 outbreak, head running backs coach Randy Jordan was one of seven assistant coaches that weren’t able to coach the team’s Week 15 game against their division rival, the Philadelphia Eagles. 

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As a result, King served as Washington’s running backs coach and became the first African American female position coach in NFL history, according to NBC Sports Washington.  

Despite the historic nature of this accomplishment, the team lost 27-17 to the Eagles in the City of Brotherly Love, as both teams compete for one of the final playoff spots in the National Football Conference (NFC).  

King’s journey to this moment was very unconventional, as she played college basketball and softball at Guilford College from 2002 to 2006, graduating with a degree in sport management. Then, she played 14 seasons in the Women’s Football Association for the Carolina Phoenix, New York Sharks and D.C. Divas. 

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During her football playing career, King was the head coach of the Johnson & Wales women’s basketball team and led the team to a Division II national championship

In 2018, she was one of 40 women to attend the NFL Women’s Forum, where she met then-Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera and showed interest in working in the NFL. King was later hired as an intern for the Panthers for two seasons before following Rivera to Washington. 

RELATED: ‘It is about an equal opportunity’: The lack of diversity in NFL coaching

She, along with Tampa Bay Buccaneers assistant defensive line coach Lori Locust, are the only female assistant coaches in the NFL, according to NBC Sports Washington. 

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