Bills fire NFL’s first female assistant Smith
The Buffalo Bills will not retain Kathryn Smith, the first full-time female assistant coach in the National Football League.
Smith is one of 14 assistants who will not remain on new coach Sean McDermott’s staff, the Bills announced.
McDermott was hired Jan. 11 to replace Rex Ryan, who was fired prior to the Bills’ season finale.
Defensive co-ordinator Dennis Thurman and defensive-backs coach Ed Reed are also among the coaches McDermott will not bring back. Special-teams coach Danny Crossman is the only on-field assistant from Ryan’s staff that McDermott has retained.
The move was not really a surprise as new head coaches often bring in their own assistants, shifting away from those already in an organization.
Smith spent last season assisting Crossman as Buffalo’s specialteams quality-control coach after Ryan promoted her from administrative assistant.
Smith has 14 seasons of NFL experience. She began her career in 2003 as a game-day/special-events intern. Two years later, Ryan promoted Smith to become a college scouting intern, and she eventually became the team’s player personnel assistant in ’07.
A former three-sport high school athlete from suburban Syracuse, N.Y., Smith never anticipated she would one day be recognized for breaking a gender barrier in North America’s most popular sport.
“That’s not my focus,” Smith told The Associated Press last year. “I might be the first.
“But I don’t think I’ll be the only one for very long.”
Kathryn Smith will not be a part of new coach Sean McDermott’s staff with the Buffalo Bills.