Future Watch: Dr. Jen Welter Football Cards – Dr. Jen Welter is an amazing athlete. Many know about her coaching career, but a few may not know about her athletic career going back to her days playing rugby at Boston College.
Welter played in various women’s professional and semi-professional football leagues, playing defense for the Massachusetts Mutiny, Dallas Diamonds, and Dallas Dragons. In 2010 and 2013, Welter represented her country playing at the International Federation of American Football Women’s World Championship. She walked away with two gold medals.
In 2014, Welter’s career would change forever. She was trying out for the Texas Revolution of Champions Indoor Football, a professional men’s football team and it was there she carried the ball three times for a net of -1 yards in a preseason game. She was later named to the active roster. The statistics weren’t important. She took her 5-2, 130-pound frame and went up against a defensive lineman who was 6-4, 245 pounds in that game and became the second woman to play a position other than placekicker or holder in a men’s pro league. That took guts.
In 2015, Welter was named the linebacker and special teams coach for the Texas Revolution. That made her the first woman to coach in a men’s professional league.
During training camp in July 2015, the Arizona Cardinals hired Welter as an assistant coaching intern for training camp and the preseason. That made her the first female coach in the history of the NFL. At the time it seemed like some members of the media were more skeptical about her role but not the players. All the reports were positive and that really opened things up for women in the NFL.
It took three years for Welter to get her next coaching job. It happened when the Alliance of American Football League was formed. Former Minnesota Vikings head coach Brad Childress had become the bench boss of the Atlanta Legends was the head coach and he hired Welter as his defensive specialist. Even though Childress resigned a month before the season began, that didn’t affect Welter’s employment (though the league’s folding did).
Welter could get another shot at NFL coaching in the near future, which could lead to an explosion in cardboard for this pioneer. In the interim, you can pick up her rookie card from 2016 Topps Allen and Ginter – along with autographs and relic cards – and her first pro football card in 2019 Topps AAF.