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NFL’s First Female Coach Joins A7FL Advisory Board

Dr Jen Welter A7FL Advisor

By Marlon LeWinter

Does the name Dr. Jen Welter ring a bell? It should as she has left her mark everywhere she’s been. And with that name come some incredible firsts:

  • The NFL’s first female coach 

  • The first female coach in Madden (EA Sports’ incredibly successful football video game franchise) and

  • The first female running back in men’s pro football. 

And that’s not all. She’s a motivational speaker, the founder of GrrridIron Girls flag football camps, an author and now can add advisor to the A7FL Football League to her stellar resume.

We sat down with Jen to get a better understanding of her vision for the A7FL.

(This interview has been edited for length and clarity)

Why did you decide to join forces with the A7FL? 

I was already familiar with the A7FL watching their highlights on social media when Sener Korkusuz (CEO) reached out to get me involved. I have known Dave Meltzer and of David Isaacs (formerly with the UFC) for years. So, between hearing the vision that David I. had for the board, and that David M. had not only joined the Advisory Board but purchased the LA territory, how could I not accept the offer to join the board?

What is it about the league that has that “it” factor?

I live and breathe the game of football and I love what the A7FL stands for. These are athletes who all share the same passion for the game. The A7FL is a unique expression of what I like to call tackle culture that combines elements of 7-on-7 play while respecting rugby’s global accessibility and excitement. Having played rugby, indoor football, tackle football, and flag, I see that American 7s has the opportunity to become a global phenomenon.

As an advisor, what do you think you can bring to the table?

I have lived and experienced various aspects of the football culture for the majority of my life – both domestically and abroad. Rugby really taught me about tackle culture and the game’s continuous nature emphasizes that the tackle is as natural a part of the game as catching a pass. It is not an end in and of itself, there is a respect between the tackler and the ball carrier because one does not exist without the other. Rugby players respect each other on and off the field, and there is an immediate respect and recognition anytime I meet someone who plays that game.

I credit my success and longevity in American football to my rugby roots, because what I learned in rugby, I took with me to football. And because of that I never missed a game because of injury. I hope that I can bring this awareness of tackle culture to the A7FL and help to build bridges between the various codes of football because each has its own advantages.

Can you share some of your future plans or ideas you hope to implement?

It’s all about the experience and connecting with our fanbase.  I played rugby in college so I bring a different perspective about authentic grassroots football. That’s what I want to see from the A7FL’s players each and every Sunday.

What do you see as the long-term growth of the league?

With the team that the A7FL has already assembled, we’ve built a really strong foundation for success but like anything, there is still work to be done. While we are entering our 8th season, we need to act as if this is our first season and connect with the fans on a grassroots level. Remind them what we are all about.  I have always been taught to tackle life’s obstacles with grit and tenacity. That is exactly what’s going to create conversation about this league.

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