No one expected a female to to ever be hired as a NFL official. That changed when the league hired Sarah Thomas, a former linesman for Conference USA. She's had experience with the NFL, officiating offseason workouts and preseason games.
While the league believes a woman can officiate with the the men, can they also coach with 53 male players and coaches? Bruce Arians believes it's a legitimate possibility, as noted by ESPN's Josh Weinfuss.
Someone asked me yesterday, ‘When are we going to have female coaches?’ Arians said. The minute they can prove they can make a player better, they’ll be hired.
The NBA hired both a female official and a female coach during their recent offseason.
Becky Hammon a former WNBA star was hired by the San Antonio Spurs as an assistant coach. The Spurs are 54-26 on the season and en route to another NBA Championship.
Lauren Holtkamp became only the third woman to officiate a NBA games full-time. Her tenure has only one blemish thus far, after she slapped Chris Paul with a technical in February, and drew heavy criticism from him.
The NFL has something to look at as a drawing board.
But could a female coach work? While it has been successful for the Spurs, there's a difference. NFL rosters carry 53-90 men. The NBA carries up to 14 players. Can a female motivate a room of 53 macho mentality men? It would take a strong personality to do so.
As the offseason approaches workouts, perhaps a team would be willing to experiment? Teams hire interim coaches and a few manage to stick. It will be an interesting item to keep an eye on as the season nears.