The Washington Football Team is poised to make Jennifer King the NFL’s first Black woman to be named a full-time assistant coach. A contract has not yet been signed, but the deal is expected to be completed in the coming days, according to two people familiar with the situation.
King joined Washington's staff in February as a full-time intern, becoming the first woman in franchise history to be hired in any capacity as a coach. She worked primarily with the running backs and earned the praise of Coach Ron Rivera and running backs coach Randy Jordan.
Hiring King would just be the latest groundbreaking personnel move by Washington. The team is finalizing a deal for Martin Mayhew to be the next GM, a move that would give Washington minorities as team president, coach and GM (Jason Wright took over as team president in August).
"First of all, she knows the game," Jordan said in December. "It's really helped me in terms of seeing the game in a different view. . . . When we first started, I leaned on her a lot in terms of the terminology and the different things. Then, the way she's worked with the guys; she's just Coach King to us. Her input throughout the game, there are things I may not see, and she'll point it out to me. If I see something and she doesn't necessarily see that point.
" . . . Her input is very, very important not only to me, but to the entire staff. She's been doing a heck of a job."
King, a former college basketball coach, spent the previous two summers as a part-time intern on Rivera’s staff in Carolina, working with the receivers and running backs. She is one of four full-time female coaches in the league, along with Tampa Bay Bucs defensive line coach Lori Locust and assistant strength and conditioning coach Maral Javadifar; and Cleveland Browns chief of staff Callie Brownson.
Katie Sowers, one of the league’s first full-time female coaches and its first openly gay coach, is reportedly not returning to the San Francisco 49ers as an offensive assistant in 2021.