The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced Wednesday night that they had hired two female assistant coaches, becoming the first team to do so.
Head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bruce Arians may be the second oldest coach in the National Football League behind only Pete Carroll, yet the phrase “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” does not apply to him. Arians continues to be a trailblazer in the National Football League, as he becomes the first head coach to hire two females to his staff.
The Buccaneers announced Wednesday night that they had hired Maral Javadifar and Lori Locust to join their coaching staff on a full-time basis. Javadifar will assume the role of assistant strength and conditioning coach, while Locust will take over as the assistant defensive line coach in Tampa Bay.
According to the team’s website, Javadifar has worked in sports physical therapy in Seattle, and has earned her doctorate in physical therapy from New York Medical College. She looks to add a health and recovery aspect to the Buccaneers’ strength and conditioning program as she is renown in the world of physical therapy.
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This is not Locust’s first rodeo in the football ranks, as she was an intern for the Baltimore Ravens during training camp last season, and has also coached in the National Arena League as the co-special teams coordinator for the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks. Most recently, Locust was the defensive line coach for the Alliance of American Football’s Birmingham Iron this season.
These women truly earned their rights to coach in the National Football league, and Arians has provided them that opportunity. Arians, when talking about his latest hires stated:
"“I have know Lori back to my days at Temple University and I’ve seen firsthand just how knowledgeable and passionate she is about this game. I was equally impressed with Maral’s background in performance training and physical therapy and I know she will be a valuable asset to our strength and conditioning program.” (Arians via Buccaneers.com)"
The floodgates were opened in 2015, by who else but Arians, when he became the first NFL head coach to hire a female coach when he brought in Jen Welter as an intern during training camp as the head man of the Arizona Cardinals. Since then, three other women have been given the opportunity to pursue careers in the NFL.
Arians stated at the combine that he would be willing to hire women to his staff full-time and that he would be creating the position, and he stuck to his word. At the age of 66 and as the second oldest coach in the NFL, Arians continues to stay ahead of the times and has become a trailblazer for women in the NFL. The Pewter Plank welcomes Javadifar and Locust to Tampa Bay and to the Buccaneers coaching staff.