Wonder Woman of the Week: 49ers’ assistant coach Katie Sowers


 Our Wonder Woman of the Week won’t only be the second ever woman to serve as a full-time NFL coach, she’ll also be the first out LGBT coach in the league.

Professional football has long been a man’s world but that’s starting to change, and this week we’re celebrating one admirable woman who’s helping to pave that path for others who’ll follow her. Katie Sowers announced earlier this month that she had been hired as a full-time assistant coach for the San Francisco 49ers, making her only the second woman ever to be a full-time NFL coach. This week, in an interview with SB Nation’s Outsports, Sowers talked about also being the first openly LGBT coach, male or female, in the league.

Sowers said in the interview that she’s always loved football, but learned at a young age that boys she played with were much bigger than she was, and felt society telling her that girls weren’t supposed to play football. That didn’t stop her years later, however, when she helped lead the U.S. in nabbing the Women’s Football Alliance world title and gold medal in 2013. She went on to coach the Alliance’s Kansas City Titans and eventually participate in the Bill Walsh NFL Diversity Coaching Fellowship with the 49ers.

Sowers posted about her new role on Facebook when she was hired, thanking those helped her by “opening doors and breaking down walls.” Now she’s the one doing the door-opening. Showing the world that a person’s gender or sexual orientation doesn’t impact their ability to do his or her job, whether that job’s being a professional football coach or not, is surely only the beginning of the impact Sowers will have on the industry and beyond.

Next: Amanda Serrano: A champion’s fight for respect

At the 49ers preseason home opener last week, some women and girls even approached Sowers for an autograph. And if that’s not a victory for football-and-equality-loving fans everywhere, I don’t know what is.