The Washington Football Team made history on Jan. 26, 2021, when they hired Jennifer King to become the team’s assistant running backs coach.
With the hire, King became the first African American female assistant position coach in NFL history. She also became just the second female assistant position coach in the NFL, following the Tampa Bay Buccaneer’s Lori Locust.
King discussed the impact and significance of her achievement.
The hiring decision came after King spent last season with Washington as the team’s full-year coaching intern for the 2020-21 season. King’s internship with the Washington Football Team came after two seasons spent interning with the Carolina Panthers in various positions.
Washington head coach Ron Rivera has been one of the consistent factors of King’s time in Washington and Carolina. Rivera served as head coach of the Panthers in 2018 and 2019 before moving to Washington last season.
King also has experience coaching at the college level, in both football and basketball. Before Washington, she coached at Dartmouth College as an offensive assistant. She served as the head coach of the women’s basketball team at Johnson and Wales University Charlotte from 2016-18. Under her leadership, the wildcats obtained a 37-10 record and won a USCAA Division II National Championship in 2018.
Before entering her coaching career, King had a 12-year playing career for the Carolina Phoenix and New York Sharks where she played quarterback, receiver and safety in the Women’s Football Alliance league.
King made history earlier last season when she, Cleveland Browns’ Chief of Staff Callie Brownson and NFL official Sarah Thomas all participated in a game between the Cleveland Browns and Washington Football team on Sept. 27, 2020. The game marked the first time that three women served on the field in an official capacity for an NFL game.