NFL’s First Female Coach Signed to Guide the Australia Women’s National Team
Gridiron Australia announces the appointment of Dr. Jen Welter as the Australian Outback Women’s National Team Head Coach to lead Team Australia at the 2017 IFAF Women’s World Championship in Canada
Dr. Jen Welter is uniquely qualified for this important position having played professionally and having coached at the highest level of the sport. Dr. Welter graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Boston College and graduated with a master’s degree in Sport Psychology followed by a PhD in Psychology at Capella University.
From Gridiron Australia;
“The Australian Outback Women’s Program looks forward to the positive influence that Dr. Welter will have with our first-ever Women’s National Team and welcome her to the position of Head Coach. We look forward to a successful 2017 IFAF World Championship campaign.”
She was a member of the gold medal-winning Team USA at the International Federation of American Football’s (IFAF) Women’s World Championship in 2010 and 2013. In 2014, the Indoor Football League’s Texas Revolution announced signing Welter as a running back making her the second female player for a position other than kicker or placekick-holder on a men’s professional football team, and the first at running back making her not the first female to play a male dominant sport; however, the first woman to play a “contact” position in a male dominant sport.
In 2015, the Revolution named Welter as their linebackers and special teams coach making her the first woman to coach in a men’s professional football league. In the same year she was presented with the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Sports Pioneer award at the United Nations.
On July 27, 2015, the Arizona Cardinals hired Welter as an assistant coaching intern for training camp and the preseason – making her first female coach in the NFL.
Head Coach Jenifer Welter
“In 2010, I had the opportunity to represent Team USA in the inaugural Women’s World Championship. Under Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator John Konecki, Defensive Coordinator Anthony Stone and Special Teams Coordinator Mark Mclaughlin (Coach Mac), we committed to not only winning a gold medal but also to being International Ambassadors for the game of American Football. I am honoured to uphold this promise by assuming the Head Coaching role of Team Australia with my original Offensive Coordinator, John Konecki and Defensive Coordinator, Anthony Stone. These coaches had 2 profound impacts on my career and I know we will do the same for Team Australia. Additionally, I hope other teams will follow suit and continue to open doors and expand the roles of women in football and sport as a whole.”
In February 2014, Welter became the first female to play a nonkicking position in a men’s professional football league when she played running back and special teams for the Revolution.
Welter played professional football for more than 14 years as a linebacker, mostly with the Dallas Diamonds of the Women’s Football Alliance, which she rejoined after her stint in the NFL. She helped lead them to four championships.
She also has a doctorate in psychology.
To learn more about the IFAF Women’s World Championships held in Canada this summer click here.