Story at a glance
- The 49ers hired Katie Sowers to the offensive coaching staff back in 2017, and she’ll make history as the first woman and openly gay person to coach at a Super Bowl.
- Sowers is a former football player herself and was previously with the Atlanta Falcons as part of the training staff and recruiting team.
- She was only the second woman ever to be hired as a full-time assistant coach in the NFL.
As the Kansas City Chiefs prepare to take on the San Francisco 49ers in the 2020 Super Bowl, one team has already made history.
Coach Katie Sowers of the 49ers will be a star on the sidelines as she makes history as the first woman and openly gay person to be coaching during a Super Bowl. As an offensive assistant coach, she’ll be working alongside offensive leaders like John Benton to organize and strategize plays.
“No matter what you do in life, one of the most important things is to be true to who you are,” Sowers told Outsports, “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.
Sowers was officially hired back in 2017 as the second full-time assistant female coach in NFL history. She is also the first NFL coach — male or female — to be an out member of the LGBTQ+ community.
“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,” she said to Outsports magazine in 2017 upon her initial appointment.
Sowers is currently in her fourth season of the NFL. She was originally hired by the 49ers as part of the Bill Walsh Minority Fellowship and focused on wide receiver training, according to her official bio. Prior to that position, she worked the off-season/training camp with the Atlanta Falcons while still focusing on offensive coaching.
A former athlete, Sowers was a member of the 2013 U.S. Women’s National Football team and played in the Women’s Football Alliance for eight years. She also earned her degree in kinesiology from the University of Central Missouri in 2012.
Both Sowers and her team have been adamant that she was hired because she is an expert at the game. Sowers herself said in a Microsoft Tablet ad that "I'm not just here to be the token female, I'm here to help us win."
One of her players, wide receiver and former Olympian Marquise Goodwin, also said Sowers “understands the game. She’s very familiar with the game. She played in a women’s league, and it may be a little different, but she definitely has the attitude it takes to be in that room. She brings a great vibe,, and she understands, so I’m happy that she’s on staff,” further calling her “a baller.”
Her Super Bowl debut comes as the San Francisco Giants baseball team hire their first full-time female coach Alyssa Nakken.
The Super Bowl LIV will take place on Feb. 2 in Miami.