Meet the Women Who are Playoff Bound

Picture Courtesy of Sam Rapoport – NFL Director of Football Development

We ended 2020 with the news that over in the NBA, Becky Hammon became the first female coach to take lead of an NBA team in the regular season after taking over from the ejected Greg Popovich…and we begin 2021 with the news that 6 female coaches in the NFL are heading to the Playoffs!

The NFL has taken lead over the last few year years in welcoming female coaches into a number of franchises across the league thanks to the work of Sam Rapoport and the incredible women who have paved the way. And now, as we enter this seasons playoffs, we see 6 of these incredible women showing us all that coaching at the highest level in sport is possible.

Meet the women coaches heading the 2021 NFL Playoffs!

Jennifer King – Washington Football Team

Jennifer is the Offensive Assistant Coach for the Washington Football Team, having completed her first regular season with the team. Throughout 2020, Jennifer worked with the offensive staff throughout the course of the offseason, training camp and regular season and assisted Randy Jordan with the running backs.

Jennifer joined Head Coach Ron Rivera after coaching alongside him as an intern when he was Head Coach at the Carolina Panthers.

To read our previous interviews with Jennifer over the years and to learn more about her pathway to the NFL, click the following: Interview from 2019 and Interview from 2015

Cristi Bartlett – Tennessee Titans

Cristi Bartlett is an assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach for the Tennessee Titans. Cristi joins a growing number of female S&C coaches in the league including Chelsea Romero, Emily Zaler and Maral Javadifar.

Having coached in the XFL and a number of universities including University of Pennsylvania, James Madison University and Morehead State University amongst others, Cristi began at the Titans Seasonal Coach in May 2020.

Callie Brownson – Cleveland Browns

Callie Brownson is the Chief of Staff at the Cleveland Browns. Callie’s role involves huge responsibility across the whole team … due to various incidents due to Covid, Callie has stepped in as the interim Tight End coach and interim receivers coach on the side line of Games.

Having had a number of internships in the league including at the New York Jets in 2017 as a Scouting Intern and the Buffalo Bills in 2019 as an Offensive Coaching Intern, Callie was also the first full-time female coach in NCAA Division 1.

Maral Javadifar – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Maral Javadifar is the assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach at Tampa Bay Buccaneers who make their first playoffs in 13 years. Along with the hiring of Lori Locust, Maral became part of the first NFL team to hire two female coaches back in 2019.

Maral’s career has been in the fields of performance coaching and physical therapy, having worked as a physical therapist at Avant Physical Therapy in Seattle and completing her sports physical therapy residency at Virginia Commonwealth.

Lori Locust – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Lori Locust is the Assistant Defensive Line Coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, now in her second season with the Bucs.

Lori only started playing American Football in her 40s, and after a brutal knee injury, decided to take up coaching to stay close to her sport. After 13 years of coaching, Lo took a coaching role with Birmingham Iron as a defensive line coach in the newly formed Alliance of American Football (a professional spring league) and followed with her first experience in the NFL was an internship at the Baltimore Ravens in 2018. Lori was then recruited alongside Maral Javadifar by new Head Coach Bruce Arians to be part of his new team at the Bucs in 2019.

To read our previous interviews with Lori over the years and to learn more about her pathway to the NFL, click the following: Interview from 2019 and Interview from 2016

Chelsea Romero – LA Rams

Chelsea Romero is an assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach at the L.A. Rams. After a number of years as intern for the team, Chelsea was recruited as seasonal S&C coach for 2020, becoming the only female coach at the organisation.

In June of 2019, Chelsea had her first baby and within 4 weeks was coaching back at the LA Rams pre-season training camp. She was also juggling coaching her role as Softball S&C coach at Antelope Valley College and her work at UC Irvine.

To find out more about Chelsea, read our Interview from 2019