IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

'The Heart Factor': Cardinals Introduce Jen Welter, First Female NFL Coach

The Arizona Cardinals newest coach, Jen Welter, said Tuesday that as soon as she started playing football, she knew it was her destiny.
Image: Jen Welter
Arizona Cardinals training camp football coach Dr. Jen Welter poses for photographers after being introduced, Tuesday, July 28, 2015, at the teams' training facility in Tempe, Ariz.Matt York / AP

The first female coach in National Football League history said Tuesday that in the past 24 hours, she's been wrapped up in the wings of the Cardinals organization — but she didn't shy away from her position as a role model.

Jen Welter, who also played professionally with an indoor league, will work with Arizona Cardinals inside linebackers as a training camp-preseason intern coach She is the first female coach in league history.

At a news conference introducing her to the public on Tuesday, Welter said she's not perfect, but she does have heart.

"The heart factor, the intelligent factor, being the person with the motor that will never quit factor," Welter said when asked what she will bring to the team. She said she will be able to teach the players that size isn't everything and "you can overcome any limitation."

In addition to heart, she also has a Masters Degree in sports psychology, a PhD in psychology, and two gold medals from international play.

Arizona Cardinals training camp coach Dr. Jen Welter speaks Tuesday, July 28, at the team'' training facility in Tempe, Ariz.Matt York / AP

"I'm gonna step on this football field and do what I can do," Welter said. "No matter how the chips fall."

Welter said her new position will show little girls that anything is possible.

"I want little girls to grow up knowing when they put their minds to something, when they work hard, they can do anything," Welter said.

She also joked that in high school, when all her friends wanted her to be a cheerleader, she had other ideas.

"'Heck no,'" Welter said she told the other girls. "'I'd drop you because I'd be watching the game.'"

She said knowing this has been her destiny for so long has made the moment really exciting. The most overwhelming factor? The size of an NFL playbook, Welter joked.

Her expectations are to learn from the very best in football, and she plans to "keep it real."

"I'm just taking a page from Coach (Bruce) Arians playbook," Welter said. "Just being real."

This isn't her first experience in coaching, having served as a linebackers and special teams coach for the Texas Revolution of the Indoor Football League, a men's pro league that she also played on.

"If the work's not there, it doesn't matter how big the dream is, you're gonna be sitting on the side," Welter said.