WFT's King to make history as positional coach in Shrine Bowl

Jennifer King

Jennifer King has been a trailblazer for female coaches in the NFL. The Washington Football Team’s assistant running backs coach was the first African-American female assistant coach to be hired by an NFL team and, this past season, became the first female lead positional coach in an NFL game when running backs coach Randy Jordan was out with COVID.

Next up, the East-West Shrine Bowl. The Washington Post’s Nicki Jhabvala reported Thursday that King will be a positional coach in the annual collegiate all-star game, making her the first woman to do so. According to Jhabvala, the only other woman to coach in the Shrine Bowl was Katie Sowers in 2016. Sowers was an assistant to the head coach.

The Shrine Bowl has been an annual showcase of some of the best players in college football since 1925. This year, it’s scheduled for Feb. 3 in Las Vegas as part of the lead-up to the NFL’s Pro Bowl the following Sunday. Rosters were broken up by players’ projected NFL scheme, giving evaluators a better look at how they might fit on their respective teams.

Eight running backs and two fullbacks were selected to the game: West Virginia’s Leddie Brown, North Carolina’s Ty Chandler, Florida State’s Jashaun Corbin, Baylor’s Trestan Ebner, Rutgers’s Isaih Pacheco, South Dakota State’s Pierre Strong Jr., South Carolina’s ZaQuandre White, Purdue’s Zander Horvath and Northern Illinois’s Clint Ratkovich.

King just wrapped up her first season as assistant running backs coach in Washington under head coach Ron Rivera. She was promoted to the position after working as a full-time coaching intern in 2020.