Less than a week after the United States officially inaugurated the first female and black Vice President, the Washington Football Team is making history of their own. Washington has promoted Jennifer King to assistant running backs coach. Doing so makes King the first female black-assistant in the NFL.

King served as an intern this past season, working with running backs coach Randy Jordan. Washington coach Ron Rivera has been acquainted with King, as he hired her as an intern during their tenure with the Carolina Panthers in 2018. During that time, he allowed her to spend time at the Panthers’ training camp for two seasons. King was hired again by Rivera in 2020 when he was hired to be Washington’s new head coach.


Since the end of the season, Rivera has sung nothing but praise for King and the work she has done with the running backs. Washington saw standout performances from rookie running back Antonio Gibson (170 attempts for 795 yards and 11 touchdowns) as well as veteran pass-catching back J.D. McKissic (80 receptions for 589 receiving yards and three total touchdowns).

“Coach King is well-deserving of the promotion to assistant running backs coach,” Rivera said in a statement. “She came to Washington eager for the opportunity to work as a full-year coaching intern and learn from our staff. She got the chance to experience not only the in-season work that goes into being a full-time coach in this league but also the countless hours that are spent preparing in the offseason as well. She demonstrated all of the qualities that are needed to work full-time on my staff.

The league has seen an increase in the number of female coaches over the past few seasons. King will become the fourth female full-time staff member in league history. The offensive assistant is no stranger to making history, as in September, she was part of the first NFL game with females on both sidelines (Cleveland BrownsCallie Brownson) and a female official, Sarah Thomas.

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