Jen Welter was the first NFL woman coach with the Arizona Cardinals in 2015. She shared her story to about 50 people Tuesday morning.


Rachel Porter / Alligator

Jen Welter never imagined she’d be the first female coach in the National Football League.

Welter, who spoke to a crowd of about 50 for the College of Health and Human Performance’s D.K. Stanley Lecture Series, said she never saw someone like her in a coaching position.

On Tuesday, Welter gave tips for success and being a woman in sports. Michael Spear, the director of communications, said Welter was paid about $1,000.

Welter became the first female coach in the NFL in 2015 when she began coaching the Arizona Cardinals.

Beth Barton, an applied physiology and kinesiology professor, said the department thought Welter would appeal to students even though she wasn’t a standard academic.

“I think the main message is to hear someone that’s maybe not the traditional academic succeeding in the world and show that success can come in different flavors,” Barton said.

Welter spoke about being doubted by coaches when she went to play tennis and rugby and how she made her own opportunities. She told her coaches she wanted to go “hit for hit” with men.

“Everything I couldn’t, shouldn’t, wouldn’t do, I did,” Welter said.

Tori Burstein, 21-year-old UF psychology and sports management senior, said she attended the lecture because she is interested in pioneering women in sports.

“I’m really big on female empowerment and women in all fields breaking the glass ceiling and paving the way for other women,” Burstein said.

Contributing Writer Amy Weber contributed to this report.