Written by Kevin Patra
It’s official: Jennifer King is the first full-time African-American female assistant position coach in NFL history.
The Washington Football Team announced King will serve as assistant running backs coach.
“Coach King is well deserving of the promotion to assistant running backs coach. She came to Washington eager for the opportunity to work as a full-year coaching intern and learn from our staff,” coach Ron Rivera said in a statement. “She got the chance to experience not only the in-season work that goes into being a full-time coach in this league but also the countless hours that are spent preparing in the offseason as well. She demonstrated all of the qualities that are needed to work full-time on my staff. She is a hard worker, a great communicator and a quality person. Coach King is always eager to learn and has shown tremendous growth since starting here last season. I know she will continue to be an asset to Coach Turner, Coach Jordan and the running back group, and she earned this opportunity with her hard work. The sky is truly the limit for her.”
King’s eventual hire was reported last week but became official Tuesday morning.
The announcement marks a meteoric rise for King, who spent 2020 as a coaching intern in Washington, mostly reporting to RBs coach Randy Jordan.
“I am very pleased to have Coach King back to assist me full-time in the running backs room,” Jordan said. “She was extremely helpful last year in seeing the game from a different perspective, and she was a tremendous communicator in our room. I look forward to continuing to collaborate as we move forward in our program and as she moves forward in her coaching career.”
King spent 2018 and 2019 interning in the offseason and during training camp with the Carolina Panthers, working mostly with receivers. She also spent time with the Arizona Hotshots of the AAF in 2019 as an assistant WRs coach, and she worked as an offensive assistant at Dartmouth in 2019.
King made history alongside Tampa Bay Buccaneers assistant defensive line coach Lori Locust and assistant strength and conditioning coach Maral Javadifar as the first female coaches to face off during a playoff game.
King also has experience as a player, as a seven-time All-American quarterback and wide receiver for the Carolina Phoenix of the Women’s Football Alliance from 2006-17.
As with every coach, ultimately, players just want to be surrounded by those who can help raise their game, win, and in doing so, get paid. King now has the chance to become that type of influencer in Washington.