Super Bowl LV – “It felt very isolating at times to be doing what I was doing.”

Coach Lori Locust joins fellow coach Maral Javafider in Super Bowl LV, becoming only the 2nd and 3rd women coaches to reach such a milestone. Days before the Super Bowl in Tampa Bay Florida, Coach Lori spoke about the importance of the creation of forums such as the Women’s Career Forum set up by Sam Rapoport:

“Before the pipeline was put into existence through the forums – I think we’re talking now four years since the very first one was put together. It felt very isolating at times to be doing what I was doing.

I thought I was making the right steps. I really didn’t have someone, other than my male colleagues, that I could ask about job tracking and where to go next. I tried to make common sense decisions on my own, but it’s so much more valuable when you’re sitting in a room and you’re of like-minded individuals and you can start to connect with other women.

I think the way this has been put together with the league and with Sam [Rapoport], it’s very non-competitive when you’re sitting with that same table of women [and] you’re not all vying for the same positions type of mentality, but you’re gathering information to take back to where you’re at currently and say, ‘OK, I know what I need to do next.’

There’s a framework that’s been provided, whereas before – I knew I wanted to work for this semi-pro team and I knew I wanted to not work for that one. I knew I wanted to work for this arena team and I didn’t want to work for that one.

Now you have viable steps and you have people that you can reach out to, to ask those type of questions; ‘If I do this, what about that? If I go here, what about this?’

It’s so valuable and I think it’s something that we’ve been lacking, but now that it’s in place I do feel like you’re going to see a lot more qualified candidates being brought to the table. Hopefully the teams, like Tampa Bay, have set the example to start to look at candidates regardless of gender or color and really start to broaden their talent pool.”