The Buffalo Bills announced Wednesday that Kathryn Smith has been hired as the organization's quality control-special teams coach, making her the first woman to hold a full-time coaching position in the NFL.
Smith spent last season as administrative assistant to the Bills' head coach, Rex Ryan, and prior to that spent 12 years working for the New York Jets, also with Ryan, who was that team's coach until 2015. Smith started as an intern with the Jets in 2003.
In a statement on the team's website, Ryan said Smith "has proven that she's ready for the next step" and added:
"Kathryn Smith has done an outstanding job in the seven years that she has worked with our staff," said Bills Head Coach Rex Ryan. "She certainly deserves this promotion based on her knowledge and strong commitment, just to name a couple of her outstanding qualities, and I just know she's going to do a great job serving in the role of Quality Control-Special Teams."