LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – The Washington Football Team announced Tuesday that they have named Jennifer King as assistant running backs coach after serving as the team's full-year coaching intern in 2020. With this promotion, King becomes the first African American female assistant position coach in NFL history. King also becomes the second female assistant position coach in the NFL behind Tampa Bay Buccaneers assistant defensive line coach Lori Locust.
"Coach King is well deserving of the promotion to assistant running backs coach. She came to Washington eager for the opportunity to work as a full-year coaching intern and learn from our staff," said head coach Ron Rivera. "She got the chance to experience not only the in-season work that goes into being a full-time coach in this league but also the countless hours that are spent preparing in the offseason as well. She demonstrated all of the qualities that are needed to work full-time on my staff. She is a hard worker, a great communicator and a quality person. Coach King is always eager to learn and has shown tremendous growth since starting here last season. I know she will continue to be an asset to Coach Turner, Coach Jordan and the running back group, and she earned this opportunity with her hard work. The sky is truly the limit for her."
In 2020, King was hired as a full-year coaching intern with Washington. In her role, she worked with the offensive staff throughout the course of the offseason, training camp and regular season and specifically assisted running backs coach Randy Jordan. During the 2020 season, King assisted Jordan with a running back group that compiled 423 attempts for 1697 yards and 20 rushing touchdowns. King worked closely with running back J.D. McKissic in developing his skills in the pass game. McKissic finished the regular season with 80 receptions, which is second-most in a season for a Washington running back in franchise history.
"I am very pleased to have Coach King back to assist me full-time in the running backs room," Jordan said. "She was extremely helpful last year in seeing the game from a different perspective, and she was a tremendous communicator in our room. I look forward to continuing to collaborate as we move forward in our program and as she moves forward in her coaching career."
King came to Washington from Dartmouth College where she was an offensive assistant. She primarily worked with the wide receivers and created defensive scouting reports and secondary specific scouting reports for the wide receivers. Dartmouth finished the 2019 season 9-1 and captured the Ivy League Championship. The team averaged 33.3 points per game and averaged 382.4 yards per game.
King interned for the Carolina Panthers during the offseason in 2018 and 2019. In 2018, she was an intern wide receivers coach and assisted Lance Taylor with on-field development drills and in position meetings. She assisted with the creation of scouting scheme cards for the opposing defense and charted practice and in-game player participation and defensive schemes. In 2019, she returned to the Panthers in the role of intern running backs coach and worked with the running backs in organized team activities, mandatory mini camp and training camp. She worked 1-on-1 with rookies on playbook proficiencies and individual skill development along with analyzing drill efficiency and drill concepts. She worked with the Panthers running backs, including Pro Bowl running back Christian McCaffrey.
In between her two internships with the Panthers, King was an assistant wide receiver coach and special teams assistant for the Arizona Hotshots of the Alliance of American Football. The Hotshots were 5-3 and tied for first place in the AAF Western Conference before the league disbanded. At the time of the league being dissolved, the Hotshots ranked No. 2 in yards per game (343.9) and points per game (23.2).
King has participated in NFL coaching clinics from 2015-18 and also took part in the NFL Women's Career in Football Forum in January of 2018. The forum was a highly selective two-day event that connected qualified female candidates for positions in football as coaches, officials, scouts and athletic trainers.
King also has experience as a player. She was a seven-time All-American quarterback and wide receiver for the Carolina Phoenix women's tackle football team from 2006-17. In 2018 she played wide receiver and defensive back for the New York Sharks women's tackle football team and captured the 2018 WFA National Championship. Most recently, King played wide receiver and safety in the District for the D.C. Divas women's tackle football team in 2019.
King also has experience coaching women's basketball. She was the head coach of Johnson & Wales University Charlotte from 2016-18. During King's tenure the team had an 37-10 record, and they captured the USCAA Division II National Championship in 2018. She was named the USCAA Division II National Coach of the Year in 2018. King also was an assistant coach on the Greensboro College women's basketball staff from 2006-16. During King's 10 years with the team, they went 136-54, won five conference titles and appeared in the NCAA tournament five times.
King holds a Master of Science in sports administration from Liberty University and holds a Bachelor of Science in sports management from Guilford College. She was a member of the Guilford College women's basketball and softball teams from 2002-06.
KING FOOTBALL TIMELINE
- 2021: Assistant Running Backs Coach, Washington Football Team
- 2020: Full-Year Coaching Intern, Washington Football Team
- 2019: Offensive Assistant, Dartmouth College
- 2019: Intern Running Backs Coach, Carolina Panthers
- 2018-19: Assistant Wide Receivers Coach and Special Teams Assistant, Arizona Hotshots
- 2018: Intern Wide Receivers Coach, Carolina Panthers