Katie Sowers – the First Woman to Coach in a Super Bowl.

Sunday 2nd February will see history made in the NFL. As the San Fransisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs take to the field, so does the first female coach in Super Bowl history.

Katie Sowers is the Offensive Assistant Coach for the San Fransisco 49ers.

Who is Katie Sowers?

Katie (and her twin Liz) was born in 1986 in Hesston, Kansas and began playing American football at the age of eight. Her and sister Liz would organise games of tackle football with the local boys, which often turned out to be pretty rough!

“I remember we would make boys cry as we grabbed their shirts, spin them around and throw them down.” Katie told The Kansas City Star News outlet.

With no formal opportunity for girls to play American Football, this was the only chance as a child she would get to play her favourite game.

For her post-secondary education, Katie attended Hesston College and Goshen College before resuming her studies at the University of Central Missouri in the 2010s. At Central Missouri, she graduated with a kinesiology master’s degree in 2012.

While completing her studies at Goshen, Katie began her official American football career playing for the West Michigan Mayhem and the Kansas City Titans in the Women’s Football Alliance.

While with the Titans, Katie was also a member of the United States women’s national American football team that won the 2013 IFAF Women’s World Championship.

After injury forced her to quit playing in 2016, Katie joined the National Football League as a wide receiver’s intern with the Atlanta Falcons. Thanks to the Bill Walsh Diversity Fellowship Program, she went on to join the San Fransisco 49ers first as an intern and then Offensive Assistant Coach in 2019.

Katie became the second ever women to coach full time in the NFL (after Kathryn Smith of the Buffalo Bills) and the second in the league alongside D-Line assistant coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Lori Locust.

As offensive assistant, Katie works with the skill position players on all facets of game preparation. Quarterback Nick Mullens said Sowers “does a great job,” and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders called her “one of the coolest coaches I’ve ever been around.”

The 2019 Season

The 2019 season is Katie’s second full season as coach (fourth in the NFL), and the season the 49ers won NFC Championship, sending the team to Super Bowl LIV. With that, Katie becomes the first female and first openly gay coach to coach in a Super Bowl.

Throughout the season, Katie’s role as coach has gained more and more traction, having appeared in a growing number of media outlets, magazines, websites and even her own Microsoft adverts

“I always knew I wanted to coach, but I didn’t know I could coach in the NFL until I saw Becky Hammon become a coach in the NBA. I had this weird feeling then, knowing it was going to happen.”

Katie Sowers told marketwatch.com

Katie provides her athletes with belief and calm. Veteran Emmanuel Sanders has worked with many coaches throughout his 10-year NFL career, having made the Pro Bowl twice and won a Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos, and he sys Katie brings a business-like but relaxed energy to practice and game day.

“She’s one of the coolest coaches that I’ve been around. I like being around her, truthfully,” he said. “She’s kinda laid-back, chill, and you need that sometimes. We’re in a business where there is a lot of chaos and a lot of stress. You kind of need someone with a calm voice to tell you, ‘Hey, everything’s gonna be all right.’ “

Said second-year wideout Richie James: “She has more knowledge than what people expect from a game standpoint, for sure. She works hard at her craft, just as much as [the players] do. She loves it, she loves the game as much as we do. You gotta respect it. .. and she’s really funny, to be honest with you, and she can relate to us more than you’d think.”

For some, it takes years to make their mark in this sport. For Sowers, it’s taken just four seasons. Like everyone who crosses paths with the encouraging, knowledgeable coach, Bourne knows she is just getting started.

For more insight into Katies story, check out the following links: