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Kathryn Smith of Buffalo Bills becomes first full-time female coach in NFL history

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Posted at 7:39 PM, Jan 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-20 22:07:11-05
The Buffalo Bills named Kathryn Smith their special teams quality control coach, making her the first full-time female coach in NFL history. Image courtesy BuffaloBills.com

The Buffalo Bills named Kathryn Smith their special teams quality control coach, making her the first full-time female coach in NFL history. Image courtesy BuffaloBills.com

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Kathryn Smith was named the Buffalo Bills’ special teams quality control coach Wednesday night, and according to the team the announcement makes Smith the first female to be named to a full-time coaching position in NFL history.

Smith is not new to the Bills, as she spent 2015 as the team’s administrative assistant to the head coach. She will enter her 14th year in the NFL in 2016, according to the press release from the Bills.

“Kathryn Smith has done an outstanding job in the seven years that she has worked with our staff,” Bills Head Coach Rex Ryan stated. “She certainly deserves this promotion based on her knowledge and strong commitment, just to name a couple of her outstanding qualities, and I just know she’s going to do a great job serving in the role of Quality Control-Special Teams.”

Prior to joining the Bills in 2015, Smith spent 12 seasons with the New York Jets, where she began her career in 2003 as a Jets gameday/special events intern. She became a college scouting intern in 2005, and in 2007 she became the player personnel assistant before becoming assistant to the head coach in 2014.

The full statement from Rex Ryan on Smith’s appointment is below:

“Kathryn Smith has done an outstanding job in the seven years that she has worked with our staff,” said Bills Head Coach Rex Ryan. “She certainly deserves this promotion based on her knowledge and strong commitment, just to name a couple of her outstanding qualities, and I just know she’s going to do a great job serving in the role of Quality Control-Special Teams.”

“Kathryn has been working in a football administrative role and assisted the assistant coaches for years. She has proven that she’s ready for the next step, so I’m excited and proud for her with this opportunity. She will work with Danny Crossman and Eric Smith involving a number of responsibilities.”

“I consulted with Bruce Arians on this since he was really the first NFL head coach to make this kind of move when he hired a female linebackers coach through the summer. You can see the success some of these young ladies are having in the coaching profession, such as the young lady that is an assistant to Coach (Greg) Popovich at the San Antonio Spurs, and realize how exciting this is for women like Kathryn Smith as well as the Bills organization.”