Bucs Hire Lori Locust, Maral Javadifar as Team's 1st Full-Time Female Coaches

Megan ArmstrongContributor IIIMarch 21, 2019

Crucial Catch sticker on a Tampa Bay Buccaneers helmet during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)
Jason Behnken/Associated Press

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made history before the 2019 NFL season has even begun.

Tampa Bay announced that it has hired Lori Locust and Maral Javadifar in full-time coaching roles—the first female full-time coaches in franchise history.

Locust previously served as a defensive line coach for the Birmingham Iron of the Alliance of American Football. Javadifar most recently worked as a physical therapist at Avant Physical Therapy in Seattle.

The Bucs are the first team in NFL history with two women on its coaching staff.

Locust's title is assistant defensive line coach, and Javadifar will serve as assistant strength and conditioning coach.

"I know how hard it can be to get that first opportunity to coach at the highest level of professional football," Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said, per the team's website. "Sometimes, all you need is the right organization to offer up the opportunity. ... I know Maral and Lori will be great additions to my coaching staff."

Arians added that the Glazer family, the franchise's owners, and general manager Jason Licht "were extremely supportive" of his decision to hire Locust and Javadifar. Arians has known Locust since he coached at Temple University, where Locust attended school.

"I've seen firsthand just how knowledgeable and passionate [Locust] is about this game," Arians said.

Locust will serve as assistant to defensive line coach Kacy Rodgers, who also joined the team in 2019. Rodgers followed new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles from the New York Jets.

Overall, the Buccaneers have almost entirely rebuilt their coaching staff—including the hiring of Arians, who previously retired from the NFL in 2017 after coaching in various capacities since 2001. Locust and Javadifar will be part of a fresh regime tasked with turning around a franchise that has not made the playoffs since 2007.

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