Women and the NFL: Dr. Jen Welter and the Boston Renegades

Women and the NFL - Jen Welter and Boston Renegades

As a WISE Boston member, I get to attend some really cool events. Generally these events feature awesome women from the world of sports. Not to brag (I totally am), but in the past few years I’ve met Jackie MacMullan, Kathryn Tappen, and Dara Torres.

The list got bigger last month when I got to meet Dr. Jen Welter.

Jen Welter WISE Event

For those of you who don’t know who Jen Welter is…have you been living under a rock? In 2015, Jen became the first female coach in the NFL when she was hired by the Arizona Cardinals as a linebackers coaching intern. Prior to her NFL coaching gig, she played running back for the male Indoor Football League’s Texas Revolution. She was also a linebackers and special teams coach for the Revolution.

Yup, she’s a total badass.

Jen was featured on a panel about women, sports, and leadership, along with Amy Huchthausen, the commissioner of the American East Conference (NCAA Division I), and Janet Judge, a sports lawyer. Shira Springer, a sports columnist for the Boston Globe, moderated the event, which was a benefit for the Boston Renegades, the city’s women’s professional football team.

WISE Event - Harpoon Brewery - Women and Sports

The event took place at Harpoon Brewery, which is in the Seaport District in Boston. I loved how intimate the event was – ticket sales were limited, which meant that everyone had the opportunity to network with the panelists, members of the Renegades, and the WISE board members.

The panelists discussed everything from leadership opportunities for women in the industry to the obstacles that women still face in the world of sports. I really enjoyed when they shared their personal experiences and the changes that need to happen going forward.

WISE Event - Harpoon Brewery - Panelists

I got the chance to speak with Ben Brown, who is the Strength and Conditioning coach for the Renegades. He explained the history of team and his experience as a coach. Ben was super generous with his time and it was hard not to get excited about women’s professional football after seeing his enthusiasm.

Several Boston Renegades team members were at the event as well. The team’s quarterback, Allison Cahill, who is pictured below, spoke for a few minutes at the end of the panel.

WISE Event - Harpoon Brewery - Jen Welter and Boston Renegades

Before the panel started, there was time to network and grab beer samples. I’m not much of a beer drinker, but I did try the cider and enjoyed it.

WISE Event - Harpoon Brewery Tap Handles

The soft pretzels were amaze-balls. I don’t know what they put in the cheese dipping sauce, but I wouldn’t be opposed to having more of it in my life.

WISE Event - Harpoon Brewery Soft Pretzels

My favorite part of the night was when I got some one-on-one time with Jen after the panel. Not only did she take a picture with me, but she gave me some really great advice.

WISE Boston - Harpoon Brewery - Boston Renegades - Group Photo

The Renegade’s first home game is this Saturday, April 16 at Dillboy Stadium in Somerville, MA. Tickets are $10 at the gate.

For more information about the Boston Renegades, check out their website.

– Michelle