The Super Bowl's first female and openly gay coach Katie Sowers: Who is she? Where is she from? How did she end up at San Francisco 49ers? And more...

Katie Sowers' career has progressed all the way to the Super Bowl (PA Images)
Katie Sowers' career has progressed all the way to the Super Bowl (PA Images)
8:57am, Wed 22 Jan 2020
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The Super Bowl takes place next weekend when the San Francisco 49ers will battle it out against Kansas City Chiefs at the Hard Rock Stadium in Florida. 

Katie Sowers - the 49ers offensive assistant coach - will become the first female and openly gay coach to be part of a Super Bowl event. 

Who is Katie Sowers?

The 33 year-old from Kansas was obsessed with American football while growing up. 

She played in the Women's Football Alliance and was part of the 2013 US American football women's squad. She retired from the game in 2016 after she suffered a hip injury. 

Her first job off the field was with NFL's Atlanta Falcons as a wide receiver's intern during the summer of 2016. She then stayed on and took the role of an intern scout with the side before she was hired by the 49ers a year later. 

Sowers became the first LQBTQ coach in the NFL after she made a public announcement before the 2017 season.

How she got her role with the 49ers?

In an interview with MarketWatch last July, Sowers explained she was on an internship programme with the side when she arrived. But they soon offered her a full-time job to work as a seasonal offensive assistant.

She said: "I was looking for a full-time job and wanted to prove I was valuable. We had a pre-season game in Kansas City and it was supposed to be the last day of my internship. 

"John Lynch—the general manager of the 49ers—said 'We want to keep you on full-time'. My family was on the sidelines and I went over to them and I almost had tears in my eyes."

After her role as seasonal offensive assistant, she was promoted to offensive assistant in 2019. 

She became the second woman to work as a full-time coach in NFL history. Kathryn Smith was the first with Buffalo Bills in 2016. 

What kind of impact has she made off the field?

Since she moved to the 49ers, four more women have entered the NFL coaching set-up full-time. 

Phoebe Schecter became coaching intern for the Buffalo Bills and Kelsey Martinez was a strength and conditioning coach for the Oakland Riders. 

Last year, Maral Javadifar and Lori Locust were both hired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

What is it like for Sowers to be the only openly gay coach?

In an interview with Outsports three years ago, Sowers opened up about her sexuality. 

She said: "There are so many people who identify as LGBT in the NFL, as in any business, that do not feel comfortable being public about their sexual orientation.

"The more we can create an environment that welcomes all types of people, no matter their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, the more we can help ease the pain and burden that many carry every day."

What does 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo have to say?

"Katie was here before I was, but just what she does with the receivers, all the skill positions guys, how she interacts with them, it’s special. She’s feisty, man. Katie is awesome out there. She’ll get after guys … It’s fun to be around."

What has Sowers done to grow her profile?

The star coach was part of a Microsoft advert earlier this year which showcased her talent within the squad. In the ad she states: "I'm not here to just be the token female. I'm here to help us win."

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