List of female American football players
The following is a list of notable female American football players who 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.
- 1 Female football players
- 2 Other notable women in football
- 3 Fictional
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Female football players
In predominantly men's leagues
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. Both positions are usually protected from the full contact present in American football.
- Kathryn Barriere: Defensive tackle for Cumberland Jr. Clippers in Cumberland, RI 2015-2017. Started playing tackle football in 6th grade. Plans to continue in high school.
- Heather Nixon : defensive and offensive tackle for Jax Beach Fl. Hurricanes. Youth Rec. while captain of the cheerleading squad at her middle school. (Also grew up to be her son's Assistant Coach 4th grade Tackle Football Team in Texas)
- Angela Cochran: Nose Guard and Left End, Highland Hills Junior Football League, Colorado—Kansas City Chiefs. 1970s.
- Sarah Crispin: Starting Middle Linebacker, Ridley Middle School, Pennsylvania. Started playing tackle football at the age of 7. U.S. national football team hopeful.
- Mandy Davis: Starting running back and middle linebacker, Pleasant Grove Middle School, Alabama. Started playing in 7th grade for the first time.
- Sam Gordon: Running back, Salt Lake City. Her play in a youth football league led to her becoming the first female football player featured on a Wheaties box.
- Angelica Richards: Starting offensive tackle, Austin Road Middle School, Georgia. Started playing 7th grade for the first time.
- Kiilani De La Cerna: Running Back, Thousand Oaks Titans. Recipient of Anthony C. Melia Courage Award. Will play for Westlake High School.
- Amir Bond:As a Captain played Running Back, Quarter Back, Defensive end, and Line Backer for the Decatur Jfl from 3rd grade - 7th grade. She is now currently playing for the Eisenhower Panthers at her high school.
- Alyssa Minnick: Started playing flag football at age 7 for Frankton youth football league in Frankton, Indiana. Played tackle football for Lawrence Township Football league on their traveling team the "Mini Bears" in 2013. Continued on to play middle school football for Belzer Middle School as a starting offensive lineman in sixth, seventh and eighth grade (2014, 2015,& 2016). She is now currently playing on the freshman football team at Lawrence Central High School where she continues to be an offensive lineman and has played in all three of their season opener games, McCutcheon, Bishop Chatard, & Lawrence North.
- Beth Bates, a Williamsburg,_Kentucky High school junior in 1982, became the first woman in Kentucky to score in a high school football game, kicking five extra points.
- Xitlaly Fregoso: Plays guard on varsity football team
- Noela moreno JV 2-year starter Varsity status going on 3rd year (Right guard)(Senior) Guymon highschool, Guymon Ok
- Heather Lindsay 1995 JV 1-year Back-up kicker and Special teams RBHS Rancho Bernardo , CA
- Savana Melton (Varsity Kicker-Sophomore,Junior,and Senior): North Little Rock, Arkansas, High School 7A - 2nd highest scorer 2015 (56 points); 2016 (89 points). 42 yard Field Goal at Conway High School 2016. First girl to play and score in a 7A State Championship game 2016. First female to be selected to All Arkansas Preps and ArkansasVarsity football teams 2016. Arkansas Activities Association Record Book: Consecutive Extra Points Career (leader with 68) and Miscellaneous - first female to play and score in a state championship game 2016. Leading scorer freshman through junior seasons in varsity soccer and selected to All Arkansas Preps for soccer 2016. All Conference in Soccer and Track. http://www.hudl.com/profile/5561854/savana-melton http://members.ahsaa.org/public/userfiles/Media/recordbook1617.pdf
- Heather Darrow: In 1986, Darrow became the first female athlete in the state of Tennessee to score a point in a high school football game.
- Salma "Sheba" Alsheba: Female football player in the state of Oregon. Offense: Wide Receiver. Defense: Corner Back. Salma is on the Sunset high school Freshman Football team. Her second year playing football. Salma is also a basketball player for Sunset's JVII team as a point guard.
- Sherry Worrell was the first female to play Quarterback in Arizona for Palo Verde High School in Tucson Arizona., 1992. Sherry helped lead her to team to a record breaking 86-0 against their opponent. Worrell went on to coach kids football, played for The Tucson Monsoon Women's Football Team and is the Owner of the Arizona She Devils Women's Football Team.
- Samantha "Sami" Grisafe: First girl in California to play quarterback in a Varsity Division I High School Football game in 2000 at Redlands High School. Named captain of Redland's High School's Freshman Football Team in 1999. Inducted into the Redlands High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014 for her accomplishments in Varsity Football, Softball, and Volleyball.
- Brooke Liebsch: Started playing on all boys tackle teams in 2009, and became Liberty (Missouri) North High School's first female quarterback in 2015. Recently lettered in football her Sophomore year. First female to make it to the U.S. National Development Games in Arlington Texas, July 2016. March 2017 at the age of 16 registered with the WFA Women's Football Alliance. 2017 Rookie starting quarterback for the KC Titans Women's team. First year playing she took her team to the first round of the playoffs. She also understands her role and knows that a lot of little girls look up to her for what she does, and she consciously takes time to encourage & motivate them. This year will be her second year attending the KC Chiefs Play 60 Event for the Girl Scouts.
- Wanda Ballou: First girl in Ohio to play boy's JV & Varsity High School football 1989-1991. Wanda was starting wide receiver and Safety. At 5'7 and 130lbs, she was fast with great hand skills, a force to be reckoned with.
- Erin DiMeglio: First female quarterback to see play in Florida high school football history
- 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.
- Anastasia Hooker: First female in Indian River County, Florida to score a point or points in a High School Football game. 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 by converting a PAT. The 17-year-old 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.
- Trevion Borders: First female to play freshman football for Klein Oak high School in Houston, Texas.
- 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
- Holly Neher gained notoriety in 2017 for being the first female in the state of Flordia to throw a 45-yard touchdown in a high school game, a feat she accomplished on her first pass play and third total play.
- Maya Ochoa: Freshman wide receiver and safety at Creekview High School in Carrollton, Texas.
- Evonnie Ramos: first Sophomore female to play JV football as a Left guard and special teams in Fort Stockton, Texas (Pecos County) 2015.
- 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.
- Jessica "Lil' Bulldog" Schultz: Fifteen year old, 4'11", female sophomore played fullback, outside linebacker, and special teams, with the male varsity team for Jellico, TN, Blue Devils. She scored the first rushing touchdown by a female in 1998. Jellico v. Williamsburg.
- Becca Longo, kicker who became the first woman to earn a college football scholarship to an NCAA school at the Division II level or higher and signed a letter of intent with Adams State University.
- Anna Zerilli: First female freshman kicker to play and score at the Varsity level in American History. Started kicking for Manchester-Essex High School, MA in 2015 and is currently playing for them. First female football player in North Shore and Cape Ann History. (Information founded by Cape Ann Kicking Academy)
- Ashley Baker: Former college football placekicker at Framingham State University
- KaLena "Beanie" Barnes: Former punter, and first woman to play on a top ten ranked Division I-A team, for the University of Nebraska.
- Tonya Butler: First woman to score a field goal in an NCAA game
- Hillary Carter: Former college football placekicker at Earlham College
- Liz Heaston: First woman to play and score in a college football game
- Katie Hnida: First woman to score in a Division I-A bowl game
- Ashley Martin: First woman to score in a NCAA game
- Joyce Mungari: Former college linebacker and special teams player at Monterey Peninsula and Contra Costa Junior Colleges
- Shelby Osborne: Stands to become the first female to play a non-kicking position at a four-year college after signing in summer 2014 to play cornerback at Campbellsville University, an NAIA school.
- Brittany Ryan: Former college football placekicker at Lebanon Valley College and current scoring leader among women in the NCAA
- April Goss: Former college football placekicker at Kent State University
- Rachael Evans: Former junior college football place kicker at Minnesota West Community and Technical College  Ruby Duncan, MoMo Guest, GiGi Footner,
- Abby Vestal: First woman to score points in a men's professional football game (2007) for the Kansas Koyotes of the indoor American Professional Football League with her three PAT's on April 23.
- Julie Harshbarger: First woman to make a successful field goal in a professional indoor football game (2010–present)
- Katie Hnida: First woman to play professional indoor football in a non-women's league (1999–2004).
- Patricia Palinkas: First woman to play professional football (1970)
- Lauren Silberman: First woman to try out at the NFL Regional Scouting Combine (2013)
- Jennifer Welter: first woman to play a non-kicking position in a professional football league made up predominately by men. (2014)
In predominantly women's leagues
Players in traditional ("full pads") tackle football leagues
- Mana Alison: Wide receiver, Carolina Phoenix (2014–present), California Quake (2012–2013). Played for Team Sweden at the 2013 IFAF Women's World Championship. Designer and founder of Breaking Boundaries Apparel.
- Lakatriona "Bernice" Brunson: Lineman, linebacker, fullback, Miami Fury. First female high school head football coach in the state of Florida. Star of the reality TV show South Beach Tow.
- Allison Cahill: Quarterback, Boston Renegades (WFA) (2003, 2005–present). First quarterback in history to amass 100 career victories playing exclusively in women's football leagues.
- Linda Caruso: Linebacker, Mass Mutiny (2002–2007). Contestant on ABC's The Benefactor.
- Carole Duffy: Running back, Pittsburgh Powderkegs (1969–1971). Third of four women inducted into the American Football Association Hall of Fame.
- Sami Grisafe: Quarterback, Chicago Force (2007–present). 2013 WFA National Champion and game MVP. Two-time gold medalist for Team USA in the 2010 and 2013 IFAF Women's World Championship. Musician and songwriter.
- Rae Hodge: Kicker/wide receiver, Pittsburgh Powderkegs (1971). One of the first two women inducted into the American Football Association Hall of Fame.
- Linda Jefferson: Running back, Toledo Troopers (1972–1979). One of only four women inducted into the American Football Association Hall of Fame. Named the 1975 Athlete of the Year by womenSports, the first magazine dedicated exclusively to covering women in sports. Seven-time national champion (WPFL, NWFL); posted five consecutive 1,000-yard seasons rushing.
- Anita Marks: Quarterback, Miami Fury (2000–2002), Florida Stingrays (2003). Television and radio sports reporter/commentator.
- Yekaterina Pashkevich: Running back, New Hampshire Freedom (2002–2006) and Boston Rampage (2007). A charter member of Russia's first women's national hockey team. Olympian for Russian Federation women's hockey team (2002, 2006, 2014).
- Barbara Patton: Linebacker, Los Angeles Dandelions (1973–1975). Mother of NFL linebacker Marvcus Patton.
- Natalie Randolph: Wide receiver, DC Divas (2004–2008). Became third ever female head coach a boys' high school football team in 2010. Recipient of the Women of Distinction Award from the American Association of University Women in 2011.
- Sarah Schkeeper: Offensive guard, New York Sharks, Richmond Black Widows (2009–present). Gold medalist for Team USA 2013 IFAF Women's World Championship. Founder of Richmond Black Widows football club.
- Jenny Schmidt: Quarterback, Kansas City Tribe. 2009 IWFL World Champion. Gold medalist for Team USA 2010 IFAF Women's World Championship.
- Josie Smith-Malave: Defensive line, New York Sharks (2001–2002). Contestant on Top Chef Season 2 and Season 10.
- Lei'D Tapa: Linebacker, Carolina Queens (2007–2009). Professional wrestler and model.
- Donna Wilkinson: Running back/tight end, D.C. Divas (2001–present), Los Angeles Amazons (2000). In 2003, became first woman in modern era to rush for over 1,000 yards in an eight-game regular season. Two-time gold medalist for Team USA (2010, 2013).
- Alissa Wykes: Running back, Philadelphia Liberty Belles. NWFA MVP in 2001. Came out as a lesbian in December/January 2002 edition of Sports Illustrated for Women.
- Whitney Zelee: Running back, Boston Militia/Renegades (2011–present). In 2013, eclipsed the 2,000-yard benchmark and set a new record of 2,128 rushing yards over an eight-game season, earning her conference MVP honors. Holds WFA record for most touchdowns in one game (8 vs D.C. Divas on May 18, 2013). Two-time WFA National Champion and game MVP (2011, 2014).
Other notable women in football
- Lakatriona Brunson, first female coach in the state of Florida, head coach of Miami Jackson High School football team.
- Kathryn Smith: first full-time female NFL coach
- Jennifer Stango: First Female High School Football Coach in State of Connecticut(2012)
- Jennifer Welter: First female assistant coach in the National Football League (2015)
- Erin Andrews: FOX Sports reporter for NFL
- Jane Chastain: First woman to provide color commentary for a National Football League game
- Robin Roberts: ESPN commentator and reporter
- Beth Mowins: ESPN college football and NFL play-by-play announcer
- Gayle Sierens: First woman to call play-by-play for a National Football League game
- Pam Ward: First woman to call play-by-play for a nationally televised college football game
Front office staff
- Connie (Nicholas) Carberg: First female scout in professional football history, with the New York Jets.
- Linda Wilson Bogdan (1948–2009): Daughter of Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson, second female scout in professional football
- Darlene Jones: Commissioner of the Lone Star Football League
- Jo-Anne Polak: Former general manager of the Ottawa Rough Riders; first female executive in Canadian Football League history
- Amy Trask: Chief executive officer of the Oakland Raiders
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.
- Violet Bidwill Wolfner: Former owner of Chicago Cardinals, first female NFL owner in league history
- Carol Davis: Current co-owner of the Oakland Raiders
- Georgia Frontiere: Former owner of the St. Louis Rams
- Virginia Halas McCaskey: Current owner of the Chicago Bears
- Sharon Hunt Munson: Current co-owner of the Kansas City Chiefs
- Linda McMahon: Part-owner of the XFL
- Kim Pegula: Pending majority owner of the Buffalo Bills
- Mary McLean Wilson: Current controlling owner of the trust that owns the Buffalo Bills
- Denise DeBartolo York: Current co-owner of the San Francisco 49ers
- Martha Firestone Ford: Current owner of the Detroit Lions
- Amy Adams Strunk: Current owner of the Tennessee Titans
- Sarah Thomas: First permanent game official in professional football (UFL 2009, NFL 2015)
- Shannon Eastin: First woman to officiate an NFL game (2012)
As an additional supplement to the list, noteworthy fictional appearances of women in football are provided.
- Shannon Beiste, head football coach fictional McKinley High School: played by Dot-Marie Jones on the television series Glee
- Bella Dawson, quarterback fictional West Silverado Middle School Bulldogs: played by Brec Bassinger in the television series Bella and the Bulldogs
- Lucy Draper, placekicker fictional Texas State Armadillos: played by Kathy Ireland in the 1991 film Necessary Roughness
- Dizzy Flores, quarterback in SciFi movie Starship Troopers: played by Dina Meyer
- Molly McGrath, head football coach fictional Prescott High School Wildcats: played by Goldie Hawn in the 1986 film Wildcats
- Christina Pagniacci, owner fictional Miami Sharks: played by Cameron Diaz in the 1999 film Any Given Sunday
- Doris Sherman, owner of fictional Orlando Breakers: played by Katherine Helmond on the television series Coach.
- Becky "Icebox" O'Shea, main character in comedy film "Little Giants": played by Shawna Waldron
- Tami Maida, high school quarterback, played by Helen Hunt in the movie "Quarterback Princess" (1983)
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