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Bruce Arians: Female coaches in the league's future

After the league hired the first full time female referee, the teams coach thinks female coaches aren't too far behind.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

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.