The Buffalo Bills hired Kathryn Smith as a special teams quality control coach on Wednesday, making Smith the first full-time female assistant in NFL history. Smith started in the league with the New York Jets more than a decade ago as a special events intern, before becoming an administrative assistant, where she spent six seasons working for Bills head coach Rex Ryan when he was the coach of the Jets. Smith followed Ryan to Buffalo a year ago in a similar role.
"Kathryn Smith has done an outstanding job in the seven years that she has worked with our staff," Ryan said in a statement. "She certainly deserves this promotion based on her knowledge and strong commitment, just to name a couple of her outstanding qualities, and I just know she's going to do a great job serving in the role of Quality Control-Special Teams."
"Kathryn has been working in a football administrative role and assisted the assistant coaches for years. She has proven that she's ready for the next step, so I'm excited and proud for her with this opportunity,” Ryan said. “She will work with [special teams coordinator] Danny Crossman and [special teams assistant] Eric Smith involving a number of responsibilities."