Bruce Arians believes there is a place for women on NFL coaching staffs and encourages them to apply with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
After hiring the first ever woman to his coaching staff as the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals in 2015, Bruce Arians wants to provide those same opportunities with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Hiring Jen Welter in 2015 to work with the Cardinals’ linebackers throughout camp and the preseason, Arians encouraged women to knock down his door in Tampa Bay and apply.
Arians, while speaking on the Women’s Careers in Football panel also discussed the importance of networking in the NFL in order to get your name around. This puts women at a disadvantage, unable to network in this boys club for the majority of its existence. He is leading the way in its innovation though, looking to make it easier for women to be seen and heard by NFL teams.
While at the combine, Arians spoke with Melissa Jacobs, formerly with ESPN and Sports Illustrated and current founder and editor for TheFootballGirl.com. During this conversation, Jacobs states that Arians told her that he wants to create a full-time position on his staff that is designated for women.
Since 2015, three more women have found roles on NFL staffs: Kathryn Smith for two seasons with the Buffalo Bills in 2016-17, while Katie Sowers and Kelsey Martinez are currently employed in the league; Sowers as an offensive assistant with the San Francisco 49ers, and Martinez as the strength and conditioning coach with the Oakland Raiders.
The door is open for women to coach in the NFL, largely thanks to Arians for making the first move. While it is still a difficult gig for women to network into, Arians has encouraged them to, “pound the doors down” with their resumes. Arians was ahead of the game in 2015 when he provided an internship to Welter, and he looks to continue to stick to his word with the Buccaneers as well.