On August 12th, the San Francisco 49ers made history by hiring Katie Sowers as their first female assistant coach. Sowers is also the first openly gay coach in the NFL.
Sowers started her coaching journey when she interned with the Atlanta Falcons last summer. During her internship, Sowers assisted Kyle Shanahan, who was then the offensive coordinator for the Falcons. She was part of the San Francisco 49ers’ Bill Walsh NFL Diversity Coaching Fellowship, during which she coached the 49ers’ wide-receivers.
Prior to her coaching career, Sowers was a professional football player on the US national team. She also served as a USA Football advisor and the general manager for the Kansas City Titans, who play in the Women’s Football Alliance.
— AJC Sports (@AJCsports) August 14, 2017
“Katie called me personally and asked (for an internship),” Shanahan told The Mercury News. “Since I saw how she worked and she was good, we got her here. I don’t know if anyone (in 49ers heirarchy) knew until they saw it” on the press release announcing interns.
“Because of what she did in Atlanta, we’d love her to be here,” Shanahan added. “She helps out. She’s good in the room. It helps her because she learns, too. But I like hearing Katie’s opinion. She does a good job for us.”
[More from Excelle Sports: Sparks earn statement win at Lynx Friday night]
Even though Sowers is not the first to receive this feat, she told The Mercury News, “It’s groundbreaking and all that stuff, but the more normalized it is, the better it is. As a female, the more someone can ask me what I do and I say ‘I coach football,’ the less shock on their faces will mean the better direction we’re moving.”