Katie Sowers: The first out pro-football coach
As the NFL’s first openly LGBT coach and the second full-time female coach, Katie Sowers is breaking boundaries with her selection as the San Francisco 49ers assistant coach.
As the first out coach in any men’s professional sports in the US, Katie has slowly climbed up to her current position on the strength of her experience and knowledge.
Kyle Shanahan, the 49ers’ head coach, told Cam Inman of the Mercury News that: “We were in Atlanta, and people asked, ‘Why did you want to bring a girl here?’ I didn’t even look at it that way.”
“She helped us there and asked if she could do the same thing here,” Shanahan said.
Katie Sowers: Be true to yourself
Katie told Outsports in an interview: “No matter what you do in life, one of the most important things is to be true to who you are.”
In 2012, Katie earned her master’s degree in kinesiology from the University of Central Missouri and became the athletic director of the Kansas City from 2012 to 2016.
During that time, she was also a member of the 2013 United States Women’s Footbal Team as well as a player in the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) for eight years.
In 2016, she joined Atlanta Falcons at their offseason/training camp where she worked with Atlanta assistant head coach/wide receivers coach Raheem Morris.
It was there she got to work with Shanahan, who was the Falcons’ offensive coordinator.
She then spent nine months as the Falcons’ scouting intern before she joined San Francisco in June 2017 as part of the 49ers’ 2017 Bill Walsh Minority Fellowship.
Katie Sowers: Belief in football
Speaking of being an LGBT and a woman in what’s perceived as an all-man business, Katie 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,” she said.
However, Katie also expressed belief that professional football can be an accepting place for the LGBT community.
“I do believe that an openly gay male coach would be accepted just like anyone else. What most people need to remember is that the NFL is a place of work for these players and it is a job that provides for their families,” she said.
“They are professionals and what you will find is they act like professionals in everything they do,” she added.