Jennifer Welter

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Jen Welter
refer to caption
Welter in 2014
Vegas Vipers
Position:Linebackers coach
Personal information
Born: (1977-10-27) October 27, 1977 (age 45)
Vero Beach, Florida
Height:5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)
Weight:130 lb (59 kg)
Career information
High school:Sebastian (FL) River
College:Boston College
Career history
As a player:
As a coach:
Career highlights and awards
  • 3x WPFL champion (2004, 2005, 2006)
  • IWFL champion (2008)
Jennifer Welter
Medal record
Women’s American football
Representing  United States
World Championship
Gold medal – first place 2010 Sweden Team Competition
Gold medal – first place 2013 Finland Team Competition

Jennifer Welter (born October 27, 1977) is an American football coach who is currently linebackers coach for the Vegas Vipers of the XFL. She was a defensive coaching intern for the National Football League's Arizona Cardinals during their training camp and the 2015 preseason, making her the first female coaching intern in the NFL.[1][2][3] This is her third "first" for men's football in 2014 and 2015.

On February 12, 2015, Champions Indoor Football's Texas Revolution named Welter their linebackers and special teams coach making her the first woman to coach in a men's professional football league.[4] A year prior, the 5 ft 2 in (1.57 m), 130 lb (59.0 kg) Welter was signed by the Revolution as a running back. This made her the second female player for a position other than kicker or placekick-holder on a men's professional football team, and the first at running back.[5] She is not the first female to play a male dominant sport; however, she is the second woman after ice hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser to play a "contact" position in a male dominant sport and the first woman in football to do so.[6]

Welter was featured in Mogul's #IAmAMogul campaign as part of Women's History Month in March 2016 for "changing the perception of what it means to be an NFL coach."[7]

Prior competition[edit]

Welter is a veteran of several women's professional and semi-professional football teams (including the Dallas Diamonds and Dallas Dragons).[8] She was a gold medal-winning member of Team USA at the IFAF Women's World Championship in 2010 and 2013.[5][9][10] She played rugby in college.[11]

Texas Revolution[edit]

Welter's first action as a Revolution running back came during a preseason game on February 15, 2014, against the North Texas Crunch. Welter rushed for three carries for −1 yards.[12][13][14][15][16] On February 19, the Revolution named Welter to their 2014 regular season roster.[17][18]

On February 12, 2015, the Revolution introduced Welter as their new linebackers and special teams coach. She is the first woman to coach in a men's professional football league.[5]

Arizona Cardinals[edit]

On July 27, 2015, the Arizona Cardinals hired Welter as an assistant coaching intern for training camp and the preseason; as such, she is believed to be the first female coach in the NFL.[19][20] Her internship with the Cardinals expired after the team's third preseason game on August 30, 2015.[21] Her coaching style does not differ from many, according to Cardinals' Tyrann Mathieu. The Washington Post added, "The biggest question coming in was would guys in the NFL respond to a woman coaching them, and the obvious answer is yes".[22]

Atlanta Legends[edit]

On December 11, 2018, Welter was hired by the Atlanta Legends of the newly-formed Alliance of American Football as a defensive specialist under head coach Brad Childress.[23]

Vegas Vipers[edit]

Welter was officially hired by the Vegas Vipers on September 13, 2022[24]


Welter graduated from Boston College and has a master's degree in Sport psychology and a PhD in psychology from Capella University.[25]


In 2015, Jennifer Welter received the Women's Entrepreneurship Day Pioneer Award[26] in recognition for her achievements in the sports world.[27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Edholm, Eric. "Arizona Cardinals hire NFL's first-ever female coaching intern". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
  2. ^ Urban, Darren (July 27, 2015). "Cardinals Add First Female Coach". Archived from the original on July 29, 2015. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
  3. ^ Roberts, Daniel (September 2, 2015). "The NFL's first female coach is no longer coaching". Fortune. Time Inc. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
  4. ^ Ojeda, Louis Jr. (February 12, 2015). "Texas indoor pro football team first to hire woman to coaching staff". Fox Sports Southwest. Retrieved February 13, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c Ojeda, Louis Jr. (January 24, 2014). "Indoor football team signs first female running back". Fox Sports Southwest. Retrieved January 25, 2014.
  6. ^ Wickenheiser
  7. ^ "#IAmAMogul Because I Have Changed The Perception of What It Means To Be An NFL Coach. By Dr. Jen Welter". Mogul. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  8. ^ Feagans, Brittany (April 11, 2014). "Jen Welter: Beneath the helmet". Allen American. Allen, TX: Star Local News. Retrieved April 13, 2014.
  9. ^ Welch, Matt (January 21, 2014). "Female football standout Welter to try out for Texas Revolution". Allen American. Allen, TX: Star Local News. Retrieved January 21, 2014.
  10. ^ Ross, Catherine (January 28, 2014). "Addison Woman Tries Out For Indoor Football League". KXAS-TV. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
  11. ^ "First female coach".
  12. ^ Lunsford, Mat (February 16, 2014). "Revs Crush Crunch in season opener". Texas Revolution press release. Archived from the original on February 21, 2014. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  13. ^ Mandell, Nina (February 16, 2014). "Jen Welter becomes first woman to play in men's pro football league in contact position". USA Today. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  14. ^ "Running Back Jennifer Welter Makes History By Playing In Pro Football Game". February 17, 2014. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  15. ^ Townsend, Brad (February 16, 2014). "First woman to play running back in a pro game gets walloped — and respected — in Allen". The Dallas Morning News. Dallas, TX: A. H. Belo. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  16. ^ Hernandez, Lee (February 18, 2014). "Jen Welter Makes Debut as First Female Pro Running Back". People. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
  17. ^ "Jennifer Welter, 1st woman RB in men's pro football league, makes Texas Revolution's regular-season roster". The Dallas Morning News. Dallas, TX: A. H. Belo. February 19, 2014. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  18. ^ Trieb, Erin (February 25, 2014). "Texas Woman Tackles Boundaries on Pro Football Team". NBC News. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  19. ^ "Jen Welter hired by Arizona Cardinals as assistant coach". Retrieved July 29, 2015.
  20. ^ "Cardinals Hire Female Assistant Coach". The New York Times. AP. July 27, 2015.
  21. ^ Bieler, Des (September 2, 2015). "Jen Welter is no longer an NFL coach after her Cardinals internship ended". The Washington Post. Early Lead (blog). Archived from the original on September 20, 2015. Retrieved October 15, 2015.
  22. ^ Bieler, Des. "Jen Welter is no longer an NFL coach after her cardinals internship ended". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 22, 2015.
  23. ^ "Atlanta Legends football coaching staff additions include NFL's first female coach". Gwinett Daily Post. December 11, 2018. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  24. ^ "XFL Finalizes Coaching and Football Operations Staffs for All Eight Teams". Retrieved December 30, 2022.
  25. ^ Ben Mathis-Lilley (July 28, 2015). "Arizona Cardinals Hire First-Ever Female NFL Coach to Work at Training Camp". Slate. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
  26. ^ "Dr. Jen Welter (Sports Pioneer Award)". Women's Entrepreneurship Day. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
  27. ^ idolloff (August 7, 2018). "Jen Welter". U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Retrieved June 26, 2019.

External links[edit]