Bills fire NFL’s first fe­male as­sis­tant Smith

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

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.”

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS FILE PHOTO

Kathryn Smith will not be a part of new coach Sean McDer­mott’s staff with the Buf­falo Bills.

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