How Dr. Jen Welter Became the First Female NFL Coach—And A Children’s Author

This week on the podcast, Kristen talks to Dr. Jen Welter, the NFL’s first female coach, the first female running back in men’s pro football, founder of GrrridIron Girls, and recent children’s author. Her remarkable career in women’s football includes two gold medals with Team USA, four World Championships, and eight All-Star selections, Dr. Jen was the first female running back signed to a men’s professional team. Blending her passion for the game with a powerful, unique communication style, she broke through the biggest boys club of all, the NFL, as the first female coach in the league and the Madden NFL 20 video game. Crystallizing her journey into a playbook for overall success, she published “Play Big, Lessons in Living Limitless from the First Woman to Coach in the NFL.”

You’ll hear how Dr. Jen went from tennis to rugby to football, why getting her PhD was so important to her, and how she found an opportunity in the pandemic to write a book series aimed at helping children cope with the weird world we’re in right now.

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About Kristen Geil

A native of Lexington, Kentucky, Kristen moved to Chicago in 2011 and received her MA in Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse from DePaul while trying to maintain her southern accent. Kristen grew up playing sports, and since moving to Chicago, she’s fallen in love with the lakefront running path and the lively group fitness scene. Now, as a currently retired marathoner and sweat junkie, you can usually find her trying new workouts around the city and meticulously crafting Instagram-friendly smoothie bowls. Kristen came on to A Sweat Life full-time in 2018 as Editor-in-Chief, and she spends her days managing writers, building content strategy, and fighting for the Oxford comma.