Meet the woman who coaches the men of the 49ers

NBC News

Aidan Alexander, Staff Reporter

For this great month dedicated to women, it would be remiss to not mention Katie Sowers; the first female and openly gay coach in NFL history, one of the few responsible for the success of the San Francisco 49ers this past season.

Katie Sowers started her career by studying Kinesiology at the University of Central Missouri. 

During her studies, she started her football career playing for the Western Michigan Mayhem as well as the Kansas City Titans in the Women’s Football Alliance. 

Sowers was also a member of the United States Women’s National American Football Team that won the 2013 IFAF Women’s World Championship.Sowers continued to play in the WFA until her 2016 retirement due to a hip injury.

Extremely successful as a professional athlete in the football world, she started her career in the NFL as a wide receiver intern, a private coach who works and trains with wide receivers for the Atlanta Falcons in the summer of 2016.

After her summer position ended, Sowers remained with the Falcons as an intern scout until she moved to the San Francisco 49ers in June 2017.

With the San Francisco 49ers, she became an offensive team assistant, and was the first female coach ever in the NFL. In her first season where she was able to start coaching, the 49ers won the NFC championship, making her the first female and openly gay coach in Super Bowl history as well.

“I always wanted to be a coach, but I never saw an opportunity in football because I’d never seen a female coach. All it takes is one and then it opens the door for so many,” Sowers stated during a post-superbowl interview. 

With women making up 46% of the Super Bowl audience, Sowers can truly say she opened the door for most of America during the night of the Super Bowl. 

Throughout Katie Sower’s successful career in sports, she did go through some tough times. In 2017, Sowers was actually turned down from a volunteer coaching job because she was a lesbian.

“As I was finishing college, I actually got turned down from a volunteer coaching job because I was a lesbian,” said Sowers.

“I was told ‘because of your lifestyle, we ask that you do not come around the team.’”

Hearing something so offensive just motivated Katie Sowers even more. 

“Without that experience, I would not be where I am today,” Sowers stated during an interview with OutSports.com.

Katie Sowers is a perfect example of a woman who has become successful by overcoming obstacles in her way. Not only has she proved to the NFL that woman and those of the LBTQ community can be successful coaches, she has boosted the confidence in young girls around the country who share the same love and joy for the game that she does.