Dr. Jen Welter, the first woman coach in the NFL, is at the University of Florida this week. The Florida native is giving a talk at Florida Gym at 9:30 a.m. on March 13. Welter coached the inside linebackers for the Arizona Cardinals during the 2015 preseason and training camp. She is also a gold medalist, pro football player and an author.
Today at 5 PM (ET), I'll be doing a Facebook Live Event with @jwelter47 – the first female to coach in the NFL. She'll also be speaking at tomorrow's Stanley Lecture here at UF. Here's the link for the HHP page where the live event will be streamed https://t.co/5u6ZWY2XkK pic.twitter.com/CWmNoVrnQJ
— Brady Holmer (@B_Holmer) March 12, 2018
The lecture revolves around her life story that was shaped by football. Despite football being viewed as a man’s sport by many, Welter says she did not listen to what people say.
Growing up in Vero Beach, she watched football games and thought the players were superheroes. The equipment football players wore were “larger than life” for Welter. Even the lights at her high school’s field were special in her eyes.
Welter began playing football as a 22-year-old after playing rugby at Boston College for four years. She was a veteran in the women’s football world before playing for Champions Indoor Football’s Texas Revolution as a running back in 2014. Despite her not being the first athlete to play a male-dominant sport, she is the first to do it in football and second to play a contact position in a sport. A gold medalist, Welter helped Team USA at the IFAF Women’s World Championship in 2010 and 2013. The United Nations presented her with the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Sports Pioneer award in November 2015.
Welter finished her education at Capella University after graduating with a master degree in sports psychology and a PhD in psychology. The coach would also become the Head Coach of the first Australian Women’s National Team that took field in July 2017. She designed programs to give full opportunities for women and girls in football while becoming a motivational speaker in the process. Welter is on the advisory board of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Game for Life Academy. Her book, “Play Big: Lessons in Being Limitless from the First Woman to Coach in the NFL,” is a book to inspire people to be successful.