WFT's Jennifer King named first full-time Black female coach

Last Updated 26 January 2021, 16:57 IST

The Washington Football Team promoted Jennifer King to assistant running backs coach on Tuesday, making her the NFL's first full-time Black female coach.

King was an intern under Washington running backs coach Randy Jordan during the 2020 season.

"Coach King is well deserving of the promotion to assistant running backs coach. She came to Washington eager for the opportunity to work as a full-year coaching intern and learn from our staff," Washington head coach Ron Rivera said in a statement. "She got the chance to experience not only the in-season work that goes into being a full-time coach in this league but also the countless hours that are spent preparing in the offseason as well. She demonstrated all of the qualities that are needed to work full-time on my staff. She is a hard worker, a great communicator and a quality person.

"Coach King is always eager to learn and has shown tremendous growth since starting here last season. I know she will continue to be an asset to (offensive coordinator Scott) Turner, Jordan and the running back group, and she earned this opportunity with her hard work. The sky is truly the limit for her."

All-time tennis great Billie Jean King, who knows a thing or two about making history, offered her congratulations in a video posted on social media by Washington.

"Congratulations Jennifer on your new promotion with the Washington Football Team to become the first Black woman to coach full-time in the NFL," the former tennis star said. "In a new history-making job, you will inspire generations of children because if you can see it, you can be it."

Jennifer King previously served as an offseason and preseason intern for the Panthers, when Rivera was Carolina's head coach. Rivera became Washington's head coach prior to the 2020 campaign.

"I am very pleased to have Coach King back to assist me full-time in the running backs room," Jordan said. "She was extremely helpful last year in seeing the game from a different perspective, and she was a tremendous communicator in our room. I look forward to continuing to collaborate as we move forward in our program and as she moves forward in her coaching career."

In early 2019, Jennifer King was the wide receivers coach for the Arizona Hotshots in the short-lived Alliance of American Football, working under head coach Rick Neuheisel. The Hotshots went 5-3 before the league folded.

During the fall of 2019, Jennifer King was part of the offensive coaching staff of the Dartmouth College football team, which went 9-1 and shared the Ivy League title with a 6-1 mark.

Jennifer King also was the head coach of the Johnson & Wales University Charlotte women's basketball team from 2016-18, leading the team to a USCAA Division II national championship in her second season.

She was a basketball and softball player as an undergraduate at Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C., from 2002-06.

(Published 26 January 2021, 16:57 IST)

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