A Historic Month for Women in Sports

A Historic Month for Women in Sports

Matt Lesnik, Staff Editor

Over the past month, there have been some truly groundbreaking events in sports that are encouraging to young women everywhere. First, the Miami Marlins hired Kim Ng as General Manager, making her the first female General Manager in any of the four major North American sports. In College Football, Sarah Fuller became the first woman to play in a Power 5 football game, as she suited up as the Kicker for Vanderbilt. Then in the NFL, Callie Brownson became the first female position coach in an NFL game, as she filled in for Tight End coach Drew Petzing. 

Starting with Ng, on November 13 she was hired by the Marlins as General Manager, making her the first woman to hold that position in any of the four major North American sports. Ng is more than qualified for the position, being the Assistant Director of Baseball Operations for the Chicago White Sox from 1990-1996. She was also the former Assistant General Manager for the New York Yankees from 1998-2001, a period in which the Yankees won three World Series titles in a row, and making a fourth. She was also the Assistant GM of the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2002-2011, and worked as the Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations in the offices of Major League Baseball. And not only is Ng the first female GM, she is also the first Asian-American GM in MLB history. 

In an interview, Ng stated “When I got into this business, it seemed unlikely a woman would lead a Major League team, but I am dogged in the pursuit of my goals.”

Ng has already been making moves, one of which being trading for relief pitcher Adam Cimber. 

In College Football, Sarah Fuller became the woman to play in a Power 5 (ACC, SEC, Big 10, Big 12, Pac-12) game, when she suited up for Vanderbilt on Saturday. Vandy did not have a Kicker for their game against Missouri due to COVID regulations, so they called upon Fuller. She tried out and ended up getting the job. Though she was not able to attempt a field goal or extra point, she kicked it off for Vanderbilt in the second half. 

However, she was brought back for their next game versus Tennessee, and in that game, she did hit two extra point, making her the first woman to score in a Division I football game.

In the NFL, with the absence of Browns Tight End coach Drew Petzing, Callie Brownson stepped in and took the job. She became the first woman to be a full position coach in an NFL game. Brownson started as a scouting intern with the New York Jets in 2017, then became the Quality Control Coach for Dartmouth’s football team, and in January, she was hired by Kevin Stefanski to be the Browns Chief of Staff. On Sunday, she made history.

All of these women all accomplished great milestones over the last month, but this is hardly the beginning. They are just a few examples of women in sports making a name for themselves. Another is Becky Hammon, a former WNBA All Star and an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs. She has been getting lots of interest as a potential Head Coach for some teams. Legendary Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich has spoken very highly of her.

When Hammon was hired by the Spurs in 2014, Popovich stated “I very much look forward to the addition of Becky Hammon to our staff. Having observed her working with our team this past season, I’m confident her basketball IQ, work ethic, and interpersonal skills will be a great benefit to the Spurs.”

All of these women have opened new doors for more women in their profession. They are also role models to tons of young women everywhere, and there looks to be an upward trend of women in sports.