Guilford’s Jennifer King Becomes First Full-Time African American female coach in NFL history

Posted by Press Release on January 22, 2021 at 11:46 am under College, Professional | Comments are off for this article

from Jon Cole with Presto Sports:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Jennifer King, a 2006 graduate of Guilford College, made NFL history on Friday as she continues her climb up the professional football coaching ladder. According to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, King became the first full-time African American female coach in league history when she was named as a full-time offensive assistant for the Washington Football Team. King’s promotion to this position came after spending the 2020 season as a coaching intern.

King was a two-sport athlete during her collegiate career, competing in both basketball and softball for the Quakers, while earning her bachelor of science degree in sports management. She was a decorated student-athlete who earned Guilford’s top athletics honor, the Nereus C. English Athletic Leadership Award, along with the school’s 2005 Best Undergraduate Female Athlete Award. As a senior, she was named Best Female Athlete and received the Jack Jensen Ideal Student-Athlete prize.

The 2020 season was King’s first among the coaching ranks after she spent 2018 and 2019 interning in the offseason and during training camp for the Carolina Panthers. She worked primarily with running backs coach Randy Jordan.

Earlier this month, King made history alongside Tampa Bay assistant defensive line coach Lori Locust and Buccaneer assistant strength and conditioning coach Maral Javadifar as the first female coaches to occupy opposing sidelines during a playoff game.

In between her two stints with the Panthers, King served as an assistant wide receiver coach and special teams assistant for the now-defunct Arizona Hotshots of the Alliance of American Football.

King served as a quality control coach with Dartmouth College in 2019 before going to Washington. Dartmouth finished that season by going 9-1 and winning an Ivy League title.

King was a standout for the Quakers’ basketball program during her time in Greensboro, finishing her career by ranking among the Top-5 in free throws made (409—2nd), free throws attempted (556—2nd), career points (1601—3rd), scoring average (15.1—3rd), field goals attempted (1299—3rd), 3-point field goals made (166—3rd) and steals (196—5th) in program history.

The Reidsville, N.C., native was also a three-year member of the Guilford softball team, finishing her career with 53 hits, 27 runs, 10 doubles, two triples and a home run between 2004 and 2006. King was a lifetime .251 hitter with a .332 slugging percentage and a .307 on-base percentage as a Quaker.

Away from athletics, King served as a resident advisor and judicial board member, coordinated musical acts for Serendipity and participated with the Blacks Unifying Society club. King was selected for a developmental coaching program sponsored by the Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Association of America, which led to the next phase of her career—coaching.

Upon graduating from Guilford she went to cross-town rival Greensboro College where she became an assistant coach for The Pride. In nine seasons at Greensboro College, King helped the program reach four NCAA Division III Tournaments.

King left the Greensboro College program in 2016 and was named as the head women’s basketball coach at Johnson & Wales University. She guided her team to the 2018 United States Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division II title, the school’s first national championship. It was at the Charlotte, N.C.-based school, which lies in close proximity to the Carolina Panthers organization, that helped King get her opportunity to work in professional football when she was selected as one of 50 women chosen for the NFL’s 2016 Women’s Careers in Football Forum.

King and then-Panthers head coach Ron Rivera met at the Forum and that relationship resulted in her being named as Carolina’s first female coaching intern. King worked directly with team’s receivers during their 2018 minicamp, which resulted in her being invited by to full training camp that summer.


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