The US Women’s National Soccer team is taking part in the 2019 SheBelieves Cup against Brazil, Japan, and England, and on Saturday they rolled out new jerseys for their match against England in Nashville, Tennessee. They honored “powerful, influential, iconic and inspirational women” by selecting the name of a woman who has inspired them and wearing that name on the back of their jersey.
The list of women honored included Sally Ride, Serena Williams, Malala Yousafzai, Jennifer Lawrence, Doris Burke, J.K. Rowling, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and plenty more. Team member Casey Short elected to honor San Francisco 49ers assistant coach Katie Sowers. I am not finding any pictures in our photo tool, but here are some photos of Sowers and Short meeting up.
Each player was asked why they chose their specific women. Here’s what Short had to say about Sowers.
“I chose Katie Sowers because first and foremost, she’s amazing. She’s a coach in the NFL and leading the way and showing girls and women that you can do this too and I think that’s incredible. And I also know her personally and I think she’s a wonderful human and very inspiring.”
Sowers tweeted out thanks to Short and Nike.
Honored to be included on the @USWNT inspirational jerseys. This was totally unexpected and it means more to me than you know. Thank you @CaseyShort3 for your love and support And thank you @Nike for your part in moving the game forward. #BeTheChange #USWNT #SheBelievesCup2019— Katie Sowers (@KatieSowers) March 3, 2019
Sowers is the NFL’s second full-time female coach (Kathryn Smith was the first woman hired into a full-time assistant role, Jennifer Welter was the first woman to serve in any kind of assistant coach role) and the first openly LGBT coach in the NFL. She joined the 49ers in the 2017 offseason as part of the Bill Walsh Diversity Fellowship program, and was later hired as an offensive assistant. Prior to joining the 49ers, she served as an intern for the Atlanta Falcons offensive coaching staff when Kyle Shanahan was OC.
Sowers has spent time working with the 49ers’ wide receivers, and while I imagine her role involves more than just that, this year could be a big one for her. Kyle Shanahan brought in Wes Welker to serve as the team’s wide receivers coach. Mike LaFleur previously handled both the wide receivers coach role and passing game coordinator role. LaFleur will now be exclusively the passing game coordinator, and Welker will handle the wide receivers. If Sowers continues working with wide receivers, Welker could prove to be an excellent assistant to learn from in 2019.