First Woman to Coach at the Super Bowl Happened in the 2020 Super Bowl Game
Katie Sowers has made history as the first female assistant coach to coach a team in the Super Bowl. Sowers is an offensive assistant coach for the San Francisco 49ers. Sowers is also the first openly gay person to coach at a Super Bowl.
Sowers shared that she has always wanted to be a coach because her dad is a coach, although she never imagined growing up that she would be a football coach because she had never seen a female coach football before. She also said that “[p]eople tell me that people aren’t ready to have women lead, but these guys have been learning from women their whole lives.”
Sowers’ journey from young athlete to Super Bowl coach was not easy. After college, she had an opportunity to coach basketball at the college she attended but was denied that right because of her sexual orientation. After being denied that opportunity, she turned to playing football and played in the Women’s Football Alliance for eight years. She then took a role as the athletic director for the city of Kansas City, Missouri, before coaching a fifth-grade girls’ basketball team. It was while coaching the basketball team that she was discovered by Scott Pioli, whose daughter was on the team. Pioli was a former general manager of the Kansas City Chiefs. He offered Sowers a coaching internship when he was with the Atlanta Falcons in 2016, and in 2017 Sowers joined the San Francisco 49ers. The 2019 season marked her second year as an offensive assistant with the team.
The 2020 Super Bowl was also a mark toward more inclusive advertising. Sowers was featured on a Microsoft ad, which was one of at least eight LGBTQ-inclusive Super Bowl commercials, a record high.
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