Washington Washington Football Team coach Ron Rivera added a woman to his coaching staff Monday, selecting former college basketball coach Jennifer King as a full-year coaching intern, The Washington Post reported.
The hiring is significant, making King the first African American woman assistant in NFL history. The Washington Football Team were the last NFL team to integrate, as Bobby Mitchell debuted for Washington on Sept. 30, 1962.
Rivera and King are familiar with each other from their days with the Carolina Panthers. King interned with the Panthers during the summers of 2018 and 2019, when Rivera was head coach, working with wide receivers the first season and with running backs the second, according to NFL.com.
King is the first woman to coach for the Washington Football Team in any capacity. She will work with the team’s running backs, and she will have the responsibilities of a full-time assistant coach, the Post reported.
“Jennifer is a bright young coach and will be a great addition to our staff,” Rivera said in a statement announcing her hiring. “Her familiarity with my expectations as a coach and my firsthand knowledge of her work ethic and preparation were big factors in bringing her to the Washington Football Team.”
Women are becoming more commonplace on NFL coaching staffs. Katie Sowers, an offensive assistant with the San Francisco 49ers, became the first woman to coach in a Super Bowl. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have two women on the team’s full-time staff, the Post reported.
King, a native of Reidsville, North Carolina, played basketball and softball at Guilford College, according to the newspaper. She also played in the Women’s Football Alliance and won a national title with the New York Sharks. As a basketball coach, King led Johnson & Wales to the U.S. Collegiate Athletic Association national championship in 2018.
King was most recently an offensive assistant at Dartmouth College, NFL.com reported. At Dartmouth she worked with wide receivers for a squad that went 9-1 and won the Ivy League title. King also was a seven-time All-American quarterback and receiver for the Carolina Phoenix of the Women’s Football Alliance from 2006 to 2017, NFL.com reported.