FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — The New York Jets will make history Saturday in their first training camp practice, as it marks the coaching debut of Collette Smith — the franchise’s first female coach.
Smith, 44, is a coaching intern for the summer and will assist defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson.
She grew up a Jets fan in Queens, New York, and played for three seasons with the New York Sharks of the Independent Women’s Football League. A knee injury ended her career and she decided to pursue coaching. She observed a few Jets practices last year and got a chance to meet coach Todd Bowles.
Smith becomes the third woman to coach in the NFL.
In 2015, Jen Welter was a summer coaching intern for the Arizona Cardinals, coached by Bruce Arians, Bowles’ mentor. Kathryn Smith spent the entire 2016 season with the Buffalo Bills as a quality-control coach.
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