Meet the woman who coaches the men of the Redskins

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Josh Trabka, Staff Reporter

For this great month dedicated to women, it would be remiss not to mention Jennifer King, the first full-time black female coach in NFL history. King was hired by the Washington Redskins in February as a full-time assistant coach. 

King holds a Master’s of Science in Sports Administration from Liberty University and holds a Bachelor of Science in Sports Management from Guilford College.

King’s football career began in 2006 when she joined the Carolina Phoenix, a team in the Women’s Football Alliance. In her eleven years of playing, she was an All-American seven times. She stopped playing after the 2017 season.

In the eleven seasons that she played, the Phoenix had a 75-17 record and won one IWFL Championship in 2013. King also led the team to win the Founders Bowl in 2015 and the Founders Bowl Tournament Championship in 2016

While playing professional football, she was also an assistant college basketball coach at Greenburg College from 2006-2016. In that time the program went 136-54 and won 5 conference titles.

King was then hired as the head coach at Johnson and Wales University in Charlotte. In 2018, she was named USCAA Division II National Coach of the Year after leading the team to their first national championship.

King started pursuing her dream to be an NFL coach in 2015 when she began attending coaching clinics. This led her to participate in the NFL Women’s Forum at the 2018 Pro Bowl. It was there that she met Ron Rivera, who at the time was the head coach of the Carolina Panthers.

Rivera hired King as an intern coach; she worked with the wide receivers and running backs during the 2018 and 2019 offseasons. 

During the NFL seasons that she was a part-time intern, she worked as an assistant wide receivers coach for the now-defunct Alliance of American Football’s Arizona Hotshots and as an offensive assistant for Dartmouth College.

The teams were both very successful in 2019, the Hotshots were 5-3 and the best team in the West Division when the league folded. Dartmouth went 9-1 in 2019 and finished as the second-best team in the Ivy League.

Rivera was fired by the Panthers during the 2019 season and was hired to be the Washington Redskins Head Coach in December of 2019.

When announcing that the team had signed King as a full-time coach, Rivera said, “Jennifer is a bright young coach and will be a great addition to our staff.” 

“Her familiarity with my expectations as a coach and my firsthand knowledge of her work ethic and preparation were big factors in bringing her to the Redskins.”

King says she has still not completely achieved her dreams. She says that one day she wants to become a coordinator and that working with the current Redskins’ coordinators will help her one day achieve that dream.