Smith was announced as the Bills' quality control-special teams coach after spending last season as head coach Rex Ryan's administrative assistant. She spoke for the first time Thursday on being given the role, per NFL on ESPN:
NFL on ESPN @ESPNNFL
Kathryn Smith releases a statement on being named the Bills quality control-special teams coach. https://t.co/lEKy3rENCE2016-1-21 23:45:44
This marks the second time in less than six months that an NFL team has added a woman to its coaching staff. The Arizona Cardinals hired Jen Welter during the offseason but only on an internship basis. Smith will have a spot for the entire season.
When asked what kind of advice she would give Smith, Welter told Lindsay H. Jones of USA Today that as long as Smith remains open with everyone and willing to learn, she'll do just fine: "Be open and help where you can, but really learn a lot. Try to have good advice. I never wanted to talk over anybody. It's going to be a little more tough for her on the football side, but thankfully she has the trust of the coaches."
This is another monumental step for women in the NFL. Sarah Thomas became the NFL's first female official back in August as well. Welter opened the door for other women to find coaching roles in the NFL, and Smith has been given the opportunity to take full advantage of it.