January 20, 2016 11:14 pm

Buffalo Bills hire first full-time female assistant coach in NFL history

Kathryn Smith is the Buffalo Bills' new special teams quality control coach.

buffalobills.com / Global News

The Buffalo Bills have hired the first full-time female coach in the history of the National Football League.

It was announced Wednesday that Kathryn Smith has landed the job of quality-control special teams coach.

Bills head coach Rex Ryan said in a statement Smith has done an “outstanding job” over the years working in administrative and assistant roles. This past season Smith worked with the Bills as the team’s administrative assistant to the head coach.

“She certainly deserves the promotion based on her knowledge and strong commitment,” Ryan said.

“She has proven she’s ready for the next step, so I’m excited and proud for her with this new opportunity.”

Ryan said he consulted with Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, who made headlines last summer by bringing on Jen Welter as a training camp and preseason linebackers coach. Welter at the time was called ‘a trailblazer’, and many said she had smashed a glass ceiling in the league.

“You can see the success some of these young ladies are having in the coaching profession…and realize how exciting this is for women like Kathryn Smith as well as the Bills organization,” Ryan said.

Smith worked previously with the New York Jets, and next season will be her 14th year working in the league.

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