While speaking at the Women’s Careers in Football Forum during the NFL scouting combine last month, new Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said that he had planned to establish a full-time coaching position on his staff for a woman.
He made good on that promise.
On Wednesday, the Buccaneers became the first NFL team with two female coaches on their staff.
The team announced that it has added Maral Javadifar as an assistant strength and conditioning coach and Lori Locust as an assistant defensive line coach. Both also are the first female coaches in franchise history.
Locust has been working as the defensive line coach for the Birmingham Iron of the Alliance of American Football, a league in its inaugural season. Previously, Locust worked as a defensive coaching intern for the Baltimore Ravens during training camp in 2018. Locust started her coaching career after playing four years in women’s semi-pro football.
Javadifar — who played college basketball at Pace University in New York City — was working as a physical therapist in Seattle.
“I know how hard it can be to get that first opportunity to coach at the highest level of professional football,” Arians said in a statement released by the team. “Sometimes, all you need is the right organization to offer up the opportunity.”
It was Arians who hired the first female assistant coach. In 2015 while he was head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, Arians hired Jen Welter as an assistant coaching intern. Welter currently coaches in the AAF as a defensive specialist for the Atlanta Legends.
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Jim Reineking on Twitter @jimreineking.
If you love talking football, we have the perfect spot for you. Join our new Facebook Group, The Ruling Off the Field, to engage in friendly debate and conversation with fellow football fans and our NFL insiders.