Washington NFL team hires first full-time black female coach as intern

“Jennifer is a bright young coach and will be a great addition to our staff,” said Ron Rivera, now the team’s head coach.
Jennifer King
Jennifer King with Elijah Holyfield during practice in Spartanburg, S.C. on July 29, 2019.Chuck Burton / AP file

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By Gwen Aviles

The NFL’s Washington team has hired its first black full-time female coach, the team announced this week.

In her new role as an intern, Jennifer King will work primarily with the offensive staff and assist Randy Jordan, the team’s running back coach. During the 2017 season, King was an intern for the Carolina Panthers under Ron Rivera, now Washington’s head coach.

“Jennifer is a bright young coach and will be a great addition to our staff,” Rivera said in a statement. “Her familiarity with my expectations as a coach and my first-hand knowledge of her work ethnic and preparation were big factors in bringing her to the Redskins.”

King, who holds a master’s in sports administration from Liberty University, has also coached in the now-defunct Alliance of American Football and in college. Most recently, she was an offensive assistant at Dartmouth, which finished the 2019 season 9-1 and captured the Ivy League championship.

King also has experience coaching college basketball. She was the head coach of the women’s basketball team at Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte from 2016-18, where she led the team to the USCAA Division II championship during her last year, and was an assistant women’s coach at Greensboro College for 10 years.

King joins the ranks of other women who are making history in the NFL, including Lori Locust, the assistant defensive line coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Maral Javadifar, the Bucs’ assistant strength and conditioning coach; and Katie Sowers, the offensive assistant coach of the San Francisco 49ers, the first openly gay and first female coach in Super Bowl history.