Katie Sowers is a trailblazer for women’s equal opportunities.
In August of this year, Sowers became the second full-time assistant female coach in the National Football League. She serves as an offensive assistant for the San Francisco 49ers, helping coach the wide receivers. Not only is she one of two women in a male-dominated arena, Sowers became the first openly LGBT coach in the league.
Thirty-one-year-old Sowers was hired by 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan after completing a coaching internship with the Atlanta Falcons. Noting her dutiful work ethic, expertise and love for football, Shanahan asked her to be an assistant coach for his team.
It is important to note that Sowers was not hired for any reason other than her skill and love of the game. She was not hired because she is a woman or because she identifies as a part of the LGBT community. Sowers was hired because she was the most competent for the role of assistant coach.
During a radio interview, Marquise Goodwin, receiver for the 49ers, said he believes Sowers is a capable and excellent coach.
“Katie is a baller, 100 percent. She 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,” Goodwin said.
We the Threefold support Coach Sowers in her NFL coaching career. Because of her talent, persistence and strong leadership skills, we believe that Sowers will grow and challenge the 49ers team in progressive ways.
In a culture where women are still attempting to find equality in the workplace, Sowers carved a pathway for women to enter fields that are typically designed for men.
No stranger to a game typically reserved for men, Sowers played football with her twin sister, Liz, dating back to grade school.
In an interview with Outsider, a news and sports website focused on LGBT issues, Sowers said her dream since a child was to be a football coach, yet she couldn’t due to traditional rules surrounding the game.
However, this proved a hindrance for Sowers to overcome as she and Liz went on to play professional football in the Women’s Football Alliance, winning a world title and a gold medal. After her athletic career ended, Sowers became the general manager of the Kansas City Titans in the WFA.
Arriving at her current position coaching for the 49ers required hard work and dedication because Sowers was disadvantaged as a female with fewer opportunities to gain football experience.
Sowers expressed a desire to have seen women pursuing football leadership when she was a child, as to create an easier and earlier pathway for her.
“If you can’t see something happen, sometimes it’s hard to believe it can. We don’t know what we don’t know, and I didn’t know football was even a possibility for women,” Sowers said in her interview with Outsports.
We the Threefold strongly commend Sowers for her courage and bravery to enter a field dominated by men. As she is the second woman hired to coach in the NFL, we hope that more talented female leaders may also enter the NFL to assume coaching positions.
“The most fulfilling aspect is having the ability to impact the lives of these young men chasing their dream of playing in the NFL, as well as serve as a role model for young girls who might happen to see me following my passion,” Sowers said.