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‘I’m Here To Help Us Win’: Meet Katie Sowers, The First Woman To Coach In A Super Bowl
SANTA CLARA, CA - JANUARY 19: San Francisco 49ers offensive assistant Katie Sowers stands on the field before their NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020
Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group

If last year’s Super Bowl made history for featuring the first female referee, this year’s Super Bowl Sunday plans to top that by featuring the first woman to ever coach in the big game: 49ers offensive assistant Katie Sowers.

“Sunday evening, Sowers will become the first woman to coach in the Super Bowl,” reports the Boston Globe. “One of three women who have full-time NFL coaching jobs (the Tampa Bay Buccaneers employ the other two), she is an offensive assistant on 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan’s staff.”

“Her job consists mostly of grunt work,” the report continues. “She helps organize practices. She spends late nights drawing plays on cards for the scout team and early mornings prepping drills. She is living her dream.”

Sowers’ influence on the team has reportedly been so profound that wide receiver Kendrick Bourne credits her for helping to overcome a difficult task during his first NFL training camp that secured him a spot on the team. He had dropped two passes in the first preseason game and came back to the bench feeling downtrodden and sullen. His mood, however, picked up when Sowers told him, “Live in the moment. Treat it how you’ve been playing all your life. You’re supposed to be here.’’

“The message lifted Bourne and stayed with him,” reported the Boston Globe. “A couple of plays later, he made his first catch. He finished the game with a strong performance. He would make the 2017 team as an undrafted free agent. In the three years since, he has carved out a role in San Francisco’s offense.”

Bourne told the outlet that the moment was a major turning point for him. ‘‘I always think about that,’’ he said. ‘‘That was just a big moment in my life. It was her first year, my first year. She was finding her way; I was finding my way. I just felt like her giving me that tip helped me make my way.’’

Though professional football is a predominantly male sport, Sowers says her being a female has been no impediment for her. Some players regard her as one of the “coolest coaches” to be around. 49ers general manager John Lynch even said “she’s like one of the guys.”

‘‘The best compliment — I don’t know if this is right to say — she’s like one of the guys in there,’’ said Lynch. ‘‘It’s awesome. It’s inspired us. I’ve got three daughters, and I think it’s really cool for girls to realize they can dream to do this.’’

Sowers will be featured in a Microsoft commercial this coming Sunday in which she declares, “I’m not just here to be the token female. I’m here to help us win.’’

As stated earlier, the internet went wild during last year’s Super Bowl over the presence of Sarah Thomas, the first female referee to officiate a playoff game, serving as the down judge. Despite her novel position in the NFL, Thomas maintained she officiates out of love for the game and she believed recognition should come from quality work. “I’ve always said that if you do something because you love it and not try to prove somebody wrong or get recognition for it, the recognition probably just is going to happen,” she said in 2015.

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