The Ivy League has been ahead of the curve lately with quite a few things, ranging from their decision to eliminate live-tackling during in-season practices to moving kickoffs from the -35 to the -40, both of which took place back in 2016.
The league continues to be on the cutting edge with this latest development. Source shares with FootballScoop that Ivy League member Brown will be the first Division I program in the country to have a full-time on-the-field woman assistant coach.
Heather Marini, an offensive quality control assistant who joined the program last spring, is being promoted to fill Brown's open quarterbacks coaching job, a source close to the program shares.
From what we've heard, Marini has really impressed players and coaches in the program with her ability to relate to players and knowledge of the game. Marini, age 32 and a native of Australia, spent some time with the New York Jets as a summer scouting specialist and served as the head coach of the Monash Warriors Gridiron Club for three seasons and as the quarterbacks coach for three seasons as well. She also played competitively in the Gridiron Victoria Women's Tackle Football league where she was named Rookie of the Year and All-State and was named the team's offensive MVP at quarterback and also served as a team captain.
Brown has now shared a press release announcing the hire.
"Heather has earned the coaching position," head coach James Perry, who is entering his second year with the program, shared via a press release. "In one season with our program, Heather has done a great job for us. She has proven through her efforts in the office every day with us in an off-the-field role that she's ready to run the quarterback room."
Marini will take over a quarterback room that returns one of the best quarterbacks at the FCS level - EJ Perry. Perry, a first-team All-Ivy League quarterback last season, has led FCS and broken total offense records for the Ivy League.
A slowly growing number of women have gotten opportunities in coaching, scouting, and football operations roles in the NFL over the past few years with women like Callie Brownson (chief of staff for the Browns) leading the way. But Marini's promotion to an on-the-field role serves as important trailblazing moment for women aspiring to earn a spot on the sidelines at the major college level
Update >> Brown has announced the promotion on their website. See the full release here.