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Buccaneers hire 2 female assistant coaches

The Buccaneers have hired Lori Locust and Maral Javadifar, making Tampa Bay the first NFL team with two female coaches on staff.

Locust and Javadifar are the first full-time female coaches in Bucs franchise history. Locust is an assistant defensive line coach, and Javadifar is an assistant strength and conditioning coach, the team announced.

“I know how hard it can be to get that first opportunity to coach at the highest level of professional football,” coach Bruce Arians said in a statement released by the team. “Sometimes, all you need is the right organization to offer up the opportunity. The Glazer family and our general manager, Jason Licht, were extremely supportive of my decision, and I know Maral and Lori will be great additions to my coaching staff.”

Locust was the defensive line coach for the Alliance of American Football’s Birmingham Iron this spring and was a defensive coaching intern for the Baltimore Ravens during training camp last year.

She also has coaching experience in the National Arena League, in the Women’s Football Alliance, and at the semipro and prep levels. She played four years of women’s semiprofessional football and attended Temple University.

“I have known Lori going back to my days at Temple University, and I’ve seen firsthand just how knowledgeable and passionate she is about this game,” Arians said. “I was equally impressed with Maral’s background in performance training and physical therapy, and I know she will be a valuable asset to our strength and conditioning program.”

Javadifar, who played basketball at Pace University in New York, has her doctorate in physical therapy from New York Medical College and completed her sports physical therapy residency at VCU in August. She has worked as a physical therapist and performance trainer in Seattle and Virginia.

In 2015, Arians hired Jen Welter as a training camp intern with the Arizona Cardinals, making her the first woman to hold an NFL coaching position.

Arians said at the NFL combine this year that he planned to hire a woman in a full-time coaching capacity.

ESPN’s Jenna Laine contributed to this report.

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