New on SI: Retrospective Look on Jen Welter's Impact on the Arizona Cardinals

Jen Welter's Heavy Impact on the Arizona Cardinals Is Still Felt After So Many Years

Read the full transcript below: 

Kaitlin O'Toole: Jen Welter is a pioneer in the NFL as she was introduced as the first female coach for the Arizona Cardinals. Joining me now from AllCardinals is Mason Kern. Mason, what many people do not fully grasp about Welter's career is that she's a two-time gold medalist and a four-time world champion, but let's talk about the Cardinals. What impact has she made working with them? We're coming up on five years now.

Mason Kern: Right, it's really funny, especially on the five year anniversary, just the impact that she had on the organization. The players who were involved in that historic hiring. She was a pre-season and training camp intern in that 2015 season that ended up being really special for the franchise. Now five years later, she told me she attends the 2020 Pro Bowl. Calais Campbell, who was on the Arizona Cardinals at the time when she was a part of the organization... He wins a Pro Bowl defensive MVP and he's going to find Jen Welter and he's tackling or and he's saying, "man, coach, I miss you." Just the impact that she had on the players and knowing that they were a part of history where the first female coach to ever have a role in that position in the NFL. It's the memories that will last a lifetime and she had just an enormous impact on how they see the game, how being taught by a female, and having that respect for women overall.

Kaitlin O'Toole: I want to go off what you said, having respect for women. She's kind of paved the way for a lot of women. Welter is really has changed the field and has made it a lot easier and the NFL is now made a new equality push. tell us a little bit about the impact she's made for women, especially.

Mason Kern: Right, and you mentioned it right off the top, a four-time world champion, two-time gold medalist at the IFAF Women's World Championships in 2010. It was the first year of that tournament. They win the whole thing. They actually don't even get scored on for Team USA. And she's kind of leading that group at running back and they come home and not many people are even talking about it. Not many people know about it. So, her whole agenda and her whole goal is to just be an inspiration to anyone, really, female or male, to get involved in their passions but for women especially. It's been considered that football is like the final frontier for women in sports and Jen Welter has really kind of adopted this motto that that's not the case, that you can do whatever you set your mind to and being able to kind of pave this path. Now, there have been a plethora of women who have got involved in officiating, coaching different roles in the sport and not just the NFL, but other sports as well.

Kaitlin O'Toole: You couldn't have said it better. Welter is truly a role model. Mason, thank you so much for your insight. We appreciate it. 

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