List of female American football players

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The following is a list of notable female American football players that have either played for predominantly men's American football teams at the youth, high school, college, or semi-professional levels, played in the Legends Football League, or played in traditional women's tackle football leagues such as the Women's Football Alliance, Independent Women's Football League, and Women's Spring Football League. Notable women who presently play or have previously played American football are included on this list.


In predominantly men's leagues[edit]

Almost all of the women who have played on predominantly male college and professional football teams have done so by playing either the placekicker or holder positions.[1] Both positions are usually protected from the full contact present in American football.


  • Sarah Crispin: Starting Middle Linebacker, Ridley Middle School, PA. Started playing tackle football at the age of 7. U.S. National Football Team hopeful.[2]
  • Sam Gordon: youth football player who achieved global notoriety for her highly skilled play[3]
  • Madeline Kuhl: Played on Durand Jr. High Football team. 1st string Offensive Tackle 7th grade. 1st string Offensive and Defensive Tackle 8th grade. Played on an all male team. Playing high school Football in the 2014 season.
  • Guinevere Servis: plays defensive end for Shenendahowa Middle School 8th grade in NY. Started playing in 7th grade. Plays on an all male team.
  • Kortney Cooper: Sciotoville Community School in Ohio, started playing Tackle at age 9 years. Started as Lineman to move onto Safety and Wide-Receiver. Plays on all male team. Will start middle school in 2015 season.

High school[edit]

  • Toni Goins: Wide Receiver & Defensive End. First female football player on a men's Varsity high school team in Jackpot, NV.
  • Mercedes Banks: Offense/Defensive Tackle: Had the leading QB sacks for the varsity football team in Athens, MI
  • Erin DiMeglio: first female quarterback to see play in Florida high school football history[4]
  • Theresa Dion: First female to play on a boys high school varsity team in the U.S. when she played for Immaculate High School in Key West, in 1972, as a placekicker.[5]
  • Tonya Fletcher: First female in history to be crowned Homecoming Queen and starting place-kicker for the Cary-Grove Trojans. First female to play Varsity football in the McHenry County. She went on to be a guest on Mandy Moore's MTV Show, Girls Kick Butt in Guys Contact Sports. Soon after that she as featured in the Premiere Issue of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's Magazine. She was asked to be join walk on tryouts as a place-kicker for the Appalachian State University D-I Football Team.
  • Sami Grisafe: First female in California to play Quarterback on an all male Varsity Division I High School (Redlands High School) in the year 2001. She went on to start for the WFA's Chicago Force Women's Semi-Pro Tackle football and played for Team USA in the World Championships in 2010 and 2013 garnering Tournament MVP in the latter. She currently holds several world Championship Women's tackle football records.
  • Anastasia Hooker: First Female in Indian River County, Florida to score a point or points in a High School Football game. Sebastian River High School Junior Varsity football player Anastasia Hooker made her way into Indian River County history books this week.During the Sharks JV team's October 9, 2014 game, Anastasia, No. 9, kicked a 24 yard field goal on her first attempt . She also was the 1st to score a "Varsity" Point on 11-7-14 by converting a P.A.T. . The 17-year-old Sebastian River Junior, was named "Offensive Player of the Year" as a Freshman on the school's Varsity soccer team and plays travel soccer for the Brevard Soccer Alliance U-18 State Cup team .[6][7]
  • Tammy Kaye: She is the first female to play on the varsity football team at Rancocas Valley Regional High School, in Mt. Holly, NJ. Kaye played in seven games during the 1985 season, and was a teammate of the future NFL defensive lineman Alonzo Spellman.
  • Mackenzie Lewis: WR for Gonzaga Prep, played in Middle School for Grid Kids.
  • Tami Maida: Junior varsity quarterback at Philomath High School in Philomath, Oregon. In 1981, she became the first known quarterback to also become homecoming princess, and her story was the basis of the CBS movie Quarterback Princess starring Helen Hunt as Maida.
  • Holley Mangold: Played high school football as an offensive lineman; younger sister of NFL offensive lineman Nick Mangold. She also competed as a weightlifter in the 2012 Summer Olympics
  • Melissa Olivares: Kicker for the Dubuque Senior High School Varsity Football Team in Dubuque, Iowa.
  • Jessica Sandoval: Kicker for the Mission Bay Buccaneers in San Diego California in 2004, Played six games after beating out the current kicker in a kickoff. Forced to quit under threat of losing her soccer scholarship.
  • Jessica Schultz: In 1998, became first female in the state of Tennessee to score a rushing touchdown in a male varsity football game.
  • Luverne "Toad" Wise: Kicker for the Atmore (now Escambia County) Alabama High School Blue Devils in 1939 and 1940, first female to score in an American football game.[8]
  • Kaitlyn Reeves: Riverview's first female to play on the high school varsity team



In predominantly women's leagues[edit]

Players in traditional ("full pads") tackle football leagues[edit]

Players in non-traditional ("bikini" or "lingerie") tackle football leagues[edit]

Other roles[edit]

As a supplement to the list, women involved in American football as prominent officials, coaches, sportscasters, and other significant roles are included after the list.




  • Erin Andrews: FOX Sports reporter for NFL[36]
  • Jane Chastain: First woman to provide color commentary for a National Football League game
  • Robin Roberts: ESPN commentator and reporter
  • Gayle Sierens: First, and to date only, woman to call play-by-play for a National Football League game
  • Pam Ward: First, and to date only, woman to call play-by-play for a nationally televised college football game

Front office staff[edit]


On a per capita basis, women have somewhat greater representation in professional football's ownership than in other fields; this is in part due to widows and daughters of deceased owners receiving NFL teams as part of an inheritance.


As an additional supplement to the list, noteworthy fictional appearances of women in football are provided.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Boren, Cindy (November 8, 2012). "Sam Gordon, 9-year-old girl, is already a football star". Washington Post. Retrieved November 9, 2012. 
  2. ^ Wolfe, Jeff (September 29, 2013). "Gridiron Girl: Ridley's Sarah Crispin tackles fear, stereotypes to shine on the football field". Delaware County Daily Times. 
  3. ^ Adelson, Eric (November 7, 2012). "Nine-year-old girl Sam Gordon shredding defenses to the tune of 25 touchdowns". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved November 9, 2012. 
  4. ^ Erin DiMeglio makes history at South Plantation High School. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
  5. ^ "Good Ole 63 Places a Mean Kick" (PDF). Associated Press. November 3, 1972. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b Jones, Elliott (November 13, 2007). "Baker gets her kicks, sets female mark at D-III school". USA Today. Retrieved November 26, 2011. 
  10. ^ Christopherson, Brian (November 10, 2006). "Beanie does it all". Lincoln Journal Star. 
  11. ^ Carroll, Andrew (September 14, 2000). "UWA's Tonya Butler aims for NCAA history". The Tuscaloosa News. p. C1. Retrieved November 25, 2011. 
  12. ^ Rosen, Karen (October 17, 2003). "Pioneer still gets her football kicks". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. p. 8D. 
  13. ^ "Woman Kicks Extra Points". The New York Times. October 20, 1997. Retrieved May 11, 2010. 
  14. ^ Thompson, Adam (October 17, 2000). "Denver Post". Denver Post. Retrieved November 3, 2010. 
  15. ^ Reaves, Jay (August 31, 2001). "Female kicker 3-for-3 in Division I football debut". CBC sports. Retrieved November 3, 2010. 
  16. ^ Lawlor, Christopher (2005-10-19). " - Woman aims to coach college football team". Retrieved 2013-10-21. 
  17. ^ Vecsey, George (October 8, 2010). "Kickers form bond and find sorority". The New York Times. Retrieved November 26, 2011. 
  18. ^ McDonald, Janelle (June 4, 2014). "Groundbreaking football player signs to play in college". Louisville, KY: WAVE-TV. Retrieved August 14, 2014. 
  19. ^ Associated Press (September 4, 1970). "First woman to earn place on pro grid team is also suspended." Retrieved December 25, 2010.
  20. ^ Goodman, Doug (June 30, 2010). "Hononegah grad Harshbarger makes indoor football history". Rockford Register-Star. Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  21. ^ Waszak, Dennis (2013-03-03). "Female kicker's NFL tryout lasts all of 2 kicks". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2013-03-03. 
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  23. ^ "Running Back Jennifer Welter Makes History By Playing In Pro Football Game". February 17, 2014. Retrieved February 17, 2014. 
  24. ^ "American Football Association Semi-Pro Hall of Fame". Retrieved 29 November 2014. 
  25. ^ "American Football Association Semi-Pro Hall of Fame". Retrieved 29 November 2014. 
  26. ^ "American Football Association Semi-Pro Hall of Fame". Retrieved 29 November 2014. 
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  28. ^ "Anita Marks Dot Com - Sports Talk :: Biography". Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  29. ^ "Ice Hockey - Pashkevich trades American football for Olympic dream". 
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  32. ^ "Apparently the Lingerie Football League has free agency, and Mark Rypien’s daughter just signed with Baltimore | Off the Bench". Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  33. ^ "Thomas will become first female referee in top tier of college football". September 14, 2007. 
  34. ^ "First female NFL official debuts Thursday in San Diego". 2012-08-06. Retrieved 2012-08-23. 
  35. ^ "Mark Jaffee; Republican American". 2013-08-31. Retrieved 2015-04-14. 
  36. ^ "Erin Andrews | ESPN MediaZone". 2009-10-27. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  37. ^ Weird Facts about Canadian Football, p.134, Overtime Books, First Printing 2009, ISBN 978-1-897277-26-3
  38. ^ Dan Pompei (2007-11-11). "Raiders' succession plan a mystery". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  39. ^ Kuriloff, Aaron (2008-01-18). "Rams Owner Georgia Frontiere Dies at 80 of Cancer (Update1)". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  40. ^ Adam Fusfeld (2011-01-19). "Meet The 88-Year-Old Grandmother Who's One Win Away From The Super Bowl - Business Insider". Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  41. ^ "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 

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