The Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday became the first NFL team to employ two full-time female assistant coaches, the organization has announced.
Lori Locust will join the club as assistant defensive line coach, and Maral Javadifar will be an assistant strength coach. Kathryn Smith became the NFL's first full-time female assistant in 2016 when the Buffalo Bills hired her as a special teams quality control. Katie Sowers joined the San Francisco 49ers full-time last May after spending 2017 with the club as a Bill Walsh Minority Fellow.
Becky Hammon became the first woman to join the coaching staff of a Big Four men's professional league when the San Antonio Spurs hired her in 2014.
“I know how hard it can be to get that first opportunity to coach at the highest level of professional football,” Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said in a statement. “Sometimes, all you need is the right organization to offer up the opportunity. The Glazer family and our general manager, Jason Licht, were extremely supportive of my decision, and I know Maral and Lori will be great additions to my coaching staff.
“I have known Lori going back to my days at Temple University and I’ve seen firsthand just how knowledgeable and passionate she is about this game. I was equally impressed with Maral’s background in performance training and physical therapy and I know she will be a valuable asset to our strength and conditioning program.”
Locust previously served as the defensive line coach for the AAF's Birmingham Iron and spent 2010-18 as an assistant coach at Susquehanna Township High School in Pennsylvania from 2010-18.
Javadifar comes aboard after working as a physical therapist at Avant Physical Therapy in Seattle. She played basketball at Pace University in New York and holds a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from New York Medical College.
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