From intern to full time, Jennifer King is making history as the NFL's first Black female assistant coach
LANDOVER, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - Jennifer King said Washington Football Team Head Coach Ron Rivera stopped by her office to tell her she was getting a promotion while she was preparing for a game during the 2020 season. She was excited but went right back to work. That right there shows her dedication and how humble she is.
King is paving the way for other females in sports, but during a conversation with FOX 5, she said she doesn’t feel like a trailblazer just yet.
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"I really think this is something that 10 to 15 years down the road you can look back on and I will feel the magnitude of it," King said. "I've been working with the guys already, so it doesn't feel a lot different for me."
In 2018, King made her NFL debut as a coaching intern for the Carolina Panthers.
Following her time in North Carolina, King was named a coaching intern for Washington at the start of the 2020 NFL season where she broke ground as the first Black woman coaching on an NFL sideline.
King said the NFL has positively shaped her life both on and off the field.
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"When I first started with Carolina – that was one of the things I immediately noticed – just that the standard of the NFL and how important everything was. If you’re supposed to be at five yards – don’t be at 4 – don’t be at 6. Be at 5," said King. "That’s just something I carried into my normal life with having a standard and we have to have something that’ll we’ll accept and won’t accept and once I set that even higher standard for myself things really started taking off for me."
King clearly put in the work and earned her spot. She is a seven-time All-American quarterback and wide receiver for the Carolina Phoenix Women’s tackle football team. She played from 2006 to 2017.
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She also played wide receiver and safety in the District for the D.C women’s tackle football team in 2019.
King hopes to see more minorities like her get promoted within the league.
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"Diversity is finding a way to get more Black coaches into head coaching spots and hopefully that’s something we’ll see and grow over the next few years. There are a lot of great coaches that deserve opportunities and I would love to see them get them," said King.
During the conversation, King was asked if she’d want to be a head football coach in the future and she said possibly. Right now, her focus is being better for next season.