49ers’ Katie Sowers is making history by becoming the first female and first openly gay coach at a Super Bowl game

  • San Francisco 49ers offensive assistant coach Katie Sowers will be the first female and first openly gay coach at the Super Bowl on February 2.
  • Before being employed by the NFL, Sowers was a member of the 2013 US Women’s National Football Team and played in the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) for eight years.
  • Sowers is the first openly LGBTQ coach in NFL history, and became the second woman to hold a full-time coaching position in the league when she was hired by the 49ers in 2017.
  • 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo told reporters in a post-game interview that Sowers was “awesome” and a “tremendous” coach.
  • The 49ers play the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl in Miami, Florida, on February 2.
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San Francisco 49ers offensive assistant coach Katie Sowers will make history next month by becoming the first female and first openly gay coach to take part in a Super Bowl.

Sowers, 33, became the second woman to hold a full-time coaching position in the NFL when she was hired by the 49ers in 2017 and is the first LGBTQ coach in the league’s history.

Sowers, who was a member of the 2013 US Women’s National Football Team and played in the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) for eight years, quoted LeBron James in a celebratory Instagram post following the 49ers’ NFC Championship win on Sunday night, which sends the team to Miami for the Super Bowl.

“Takin our talents to south beach,” she captioned a video showing confetti falling over the team.

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo told reporters in a post-game interview that it has been “tremendous” to work with Sowers.

“Katie was here before I was, but just what she does with the receivers, all the skill positions guys, how she interacts with them. It’s special. She’s feisty, man. Katie is awesome out there. She’ll get after guys … It’s fun to be around,” Garoppolo said.

Sowers told People in November that she doesn’t want her status as the second female NFL coach define her career.

“When you ask any of the coaches who work with me, often they’ll get asked about working with a female,” Sowers said. “To them, it’s not even something that they think about – and it’s not something that I truly think about. They see me for who I am as a coach, and not a female coach.”

Sowers told People that when she was an undergrad student at the Mennonite Church-affiliated Goshen College in Indiana she was discriminated against because of her sexuality.

“I was turned down for a volunteer, unpaid coaching position at my former college because of my lifestyle,” she said. “I remember holding back tears and calling my mom right away.”

Sowers came out as openly lesbian in 2017.

“No matter what you do in life, one of the most important things is to be true to who you are,” Sowers told Outsports at the time. “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.”

After graduating from Goshen, Sowers earned a master’s degree in kinesiology from the University of Central Missouri in 2012.

She went on to be at training camp assistant with the Atlanta Falcons, then was hired as an intern with the 49ers in 2017. She was named an offensive assistant coach in 2018, CBS San Francisco reported.

A number of other women have joined NFL staffs in recent years, including Kathryn Smith, who in 2016 became the first woman to hold a full-time coaching assistant position when she was hired as a special teams quality control coach for the Buffalo Bills, according to USA Today.

The 49ers will play the Kansas City Chiefs at Super Bowl LIV in Miami on February 2.