In January of 2018, current Washington Football Team offensive assistant and full-year coaching intern Jennifer King attended the NFL Women's Career in Football Forum. With over a decade of experience as a football player, King was looking to break into the world of coaching. The forum gave her an opportunity to do just that, as it connected female candidates with open positions within the sport.
There, King was hoping to come in contact with current Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera, who was head coach of the Carolina Panthers at the time. As the women’s basketball head coach at Johnson & Wales University Charlotte from 2016-18, King’s office was close to Carolina’s facility and she wanted to get on Rivera’s radar. She got that, and much more.
“We had a good connection, we kind of hit it off and he gave me an opportunity,” King said on NFL Total Access.
The opportunity was a role within the Panthers organization as a coaching intern for the 2018-19 season. King accepted and worked with the wide receivers. Then, in 2019, she returned to work with the running backs. She also coached with the Alliance of American Football’s Arizona Hotshots and Dartmouth College during that time.
When Rivera took the job with Washington, King followed in the Carolina-to-Washington movement and joined the staff for this upcoming season as an offensive assistant and full-year coaching intern. The larger role is something King has worked toward throughout her life.
“Football has been huge to me since I was a child. I was fortunate to be able to play for 12 years and coach some at lower levels before moving to higher levels,” King said. “So, I definitely think I was prepared to step into this role when the opportunity presented itself.”
Now working within the team, King has also become part of the staff that is looking to change the culture in Washington. After problems on and off the field clouded the franchise in years' past, the goal is to create a new era of greatness for the organization.
Like everything else she’s taken on, King is ready for the challenge, and she believes the people in charge are right for the job.
“I think our culture change is huge and I think coach Rivera is the guy to do it. I think everyone’s really bought into what he wants to get done in our organization and we brought in some awesome people to do that,” King said. “I’m excited, to be a part of it and to see what the future holds for our organization.
While King is proud to be a part of the franchise, the Washington Football Team is excited to have her on the staff. After watching the video of her interview, new team president Jason Wright tweeted that King embodies exactly what the team is looking for.
Rivera then responded, making note that the title “coach” is how King should be referred to. It wasn’t her gender that earned her the role, it was her knowledge and passion for the game. Wright agreed.