Never before have two women worked for a single NFL team before as assistant coaches. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN that is going to change. According to his report, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in the process of hiring Lori Locust and Maral Javadifar as assistant coaches for their staff.
When the contracts are announced, the Bucs will become the first team in NFL history to have two female coaches on staff. Hopefully, this is a sign of a more open hiring process as the NFL continues to move forward. These two women will join Katie Sowers of the 49ers to coach as active female assistants in the NFL.
Locust joins the Buccaneers after working as the defensive line coach for the Birmingham Iron of the Alliance of American Football during the league’s inaugural season this spring. In 2018, Locust served as a defensive coaching intern for the Baltimore Ravens during the team’s training camp and, from 2017-18, worked as a defensive line/linebackers coach and co-special teams coordinator for the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks of the National Arena League.
Javadifar has most recently worked as a physical therapist at Avant Physical Therapy in Seattle, after completing her sports physical therapy residency at Virginia Commonwealth in August of 2018. Prior to her time at VCU, Javadifar worked as a physical therapist and performance trainer in Virginia, while also serving as a guest lecturer at George Mason University. A native of Queens, New York, Javadifar played basketball at Pace University in New York City. After receiving a bachelor of science degree in Molecular Biology from Pace, Javadifar then earned her doctor of physical therapy degree from New York Medical College.
Locust will be serving with the Bucs as an assistant defensive line coach and Javadifar is the strength and conditioning coach. The Bucs recently changed coaching staffs after the firing of Dirk Koetter last season. They hired former Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians and will be looking to make the playoffs for the first time in 11 years.
It’s definitely nice to see more female coaches joining the ranks in the NFL, but it would be even better if teams would keep these coaches for longer periods of time. Kelsey Martinez formerly of the Raiders, Kathryn Smith formerly of the Bills, and Jennifer Welter of the Cardinals were all coaches at some point, but they’ve all either been let go or not kept past their contracts. Welter is currently an assistant for the Atlanta Legends of the Alliance of American Football league.