The New York Jets are set to hire their first female coach.
The New York Daily News reports that Gang Green intends to hire Collette Smith, the marketing executive and former coach and player for the New York Sharks of the Independent Women’s Football League. Smith will reportedly work with the defensive backs this summer as a preseason intern.
“I’m over the top. I’m humbled and I’m proud,” Smith told the Daily News. “This could have happened with any NFL team. But it just so happened that it was with my beloved New York Jets. This is bigger because of that. God forbid it would have been with the Patriots. But I still would have done it.”
Smith follows in the footsteps of former Cardinals preseason intern Jen Welter and former Bills special teams quality control coach Kathryn Smith, both of whom broke ground as the first part-time and full-time woman coaches in NFL history, respectively.
“We as women carry a lot on our shoulders,” Smith continued. “Right now, it happens to be football for me.
“This is a way for me to help empower women. Don’t dream small, play big and go for it. … One day a woman will come to a football team, and it won’t be a big story. It’ll just be football. When that day comes I’ll be more honored and even more proud.”