The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Green Bay Packers and won the NFC championship. Not only did they win, but they created even more history for assistant coach Katie Sowers.
With the 49ers heading to Super Bowl LIV, Sowers becomes the first female coach to head to the sports championship. Not only that, but she is also the first openly gay coach—male or female—in NFL history.
A History Maker
Sowers joined the 49ers back in 2017 as a seasonal offensive assistant and received a promotion prior to the 2019 season; this made her the second woman to have a full-time coaching role since Kathryn Smith of the Buffalo Bills in 2016.
Prior to working with the team, she served as a scouting intern for the Atlanta Falcons and was noticed by their offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who is now the head coach of the 49ers.
Shanahan stated in an interview that Sowers was a great help to them while working with the Falcons, leading him to hire her for the 49ers. “She’s a hard worker, you don’t even notice her because she just goes to work and does what’s asked.”
Earlier in the month, Microsoft featured Sowers in an advertisement for their Surface Pro computer. The ad itself highlights the importance of making your dreams come true, no matter what they are.
In it, she reads a letter she wrote to herself from the past and states that she would tell her younger self to keep pushing because her dream is coming.
In addition to explaining how the computer helps her through coaching, she says, “I’m not here to just be the token female. I’m here to help us win.”
Out and Proud
If there is anything you need to know about Sowers, it is that she is not afraid to be open about her sexuality. In a 2017 interview with OutSports, she explained how important it is to stay true to who you are.
“There are so many people who identify as LGBT in the NFL, as in any business, that do not feel comfortable being public about their sexual orientation. The more we can create an environment that welcomes all types of people, no matter their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, the more we can help ease the pain and burden that many carry every day.”
Last July, Sowers also posted a picture of herself and her girlfriend on her Instagram.
Working with both the Falcons and the 49ers, Sowers feels grateful for how open-minded and accepting each team are and have been to her since becoming part of the NFL.
“I never once felt judged and I was treated just like anyone would want to be treated: as a typical person working to build a career.”