The Buffalo Bills named the first female full-time NFL coach with the hiring of Kathryn Smith as the team's special teams quality control, they announced in a press release on Wednesday.
Smith will enter her 14th year in the NFL next season after spending 2015 as an administrative assistant for Bills
assistant coaches under Rex Ryan, with whom she has worked for seven
"Kathryn Smith has done an outstanding job in the seven years that she has worked with our staff," said 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."
Congrats Kathryn!! I know you will do a great job. 👍🏻😀 https://t.co/DWpWQJAtV5— @68INCOGNITO
Prior to joining the Bills in 2015, Smith spent 12 seasons working for the New York Jets. She started her career with the Jets as gameday/special events intern before becoming a college scouting intern in 2005.
Smith was promoted to player personnel assistant in 2007 and went on to be named assistant to the head coach in 2014.
She will assist special teams co-ordinator Danny Crossman and his assistant Eric Smith.
"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," said Ryan, referring to Jen Welter, who worked last summer as a coach for the Arizona Cardinals during training camp.
"You can see the success some of these young ladies are having in the coaching profession, such as [Becky Hammon], 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."
Last year the NFL hired Sarah Thomas as the first full-time game official.