Last night Tom Brady led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to win Super Bowl LV, winning his seventh ring — the most of any player in NFL history and more than any NFL franchise. But as impressive as Brady’s feat was, he wasn’t the only one who made history during Super Bowl LV.
Buccaneers assistant defensive line coach Lori Locust and assistant strength and conditioning coach Maral Javadifar became the first women in NFL history to win the Super Bowl as coaches. To add to that, down judge Sarah Thomas became the first woman to officiate in a Super Bowl.
The Tampa Bay coaching staff is generally one of the most diverse in the NFL. Along with being the only franchise with two full-time assistant coaches who are women, all three of the Buccs coordinators are Black, as is the assistant head coach and run game coordinator, Harold Goodwin.
Bruce Arians, Tampa Bay’s head coach, became the oldest head coach to win the Super Bowl at age 68. Arians has a history of promoting diversity among his staff, as he became the first head coach to hire a woman to his coaching team in 2015 when he was head coach of the Arizona Cardinals. Jen Walter, who joined as an intern back then, was the first woman to hold a coaching position of any kind in the NFL.
While Locust and Javadifar are the first women to win the Super Bowl, they’re not the first women to coach in one. Last year’s Super Bowl featured San Francisco 49ers offensive assistant Katie Sowers, who earned that honor. Unfortunately, the 49ers ended up losing to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV.
This win for diversity in the NFL is sorely-needed for a league that has been plagued with a macho image and has a history of being on the wrong side of race relations (see: Colin Kaepernick and kneeling). Lori Locust, Maral Javadifar, Katie Sowers, and Sarah Thomas may have been the first but hopefully, they won’t be the last.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the defending champions Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 last night. Watch the highlights below.