By Ken Reed

Becky Hammon recently won the NBA’s Las Vegas summer league championship as head coach of the San Antonio Spurs’ entry.

In April, the NFL hired Sarah Thomas as the first full-time female official.

Another milestone was reached this week when Bruce Arians and the Arizona Cardinals hired Jen Welter as an inside linebackers coach for training camp.

Welter’s hire followed Arian’s remark about female coaches earlier this year.

“The minute they can prove they can make a player better, they’ll be hired,” said Arians when asked about female football coaches earlier this year. Apparently, Arians believes Welter can do just that.

Welter played pro football in the Women’s Football Alliance for the Dallas Diamonds. She also played running back against men in the Indoor Football League for the Texas Revolution.

Before being hired by the Cardinals, Welter had been coaching linebackers and special teams with the Revolution. Welter also has master’s and doctorate degrees in psychology, with emphases in sports psychology.

“She’s paid her dues,” said Cardinals beat reporter Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic.

Open-minded and progressive-thinking coaches like Arians and San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich are opening some doors for women in the traditionally male-dominated sports world.

The hope is that eventually coaches in all sports will be hired strictly for their abilities, and things like what type of body parts one has will be irrelevant.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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