Sep 8, 2020
Broncos Hire First Female Coach in Franchise History

Prior to the start of the 2020-21 NFL regular season, the Denver Broncos already made history when announcing their first female full-time coach in franchise history last week.

Emily Zaler, a certified strength and conditioning coach, was hired full-time to the Broncos staff after a successful summer internship, according to a story from

Photo: KA Sports Photo / Creative Commons

“We’re going to keep her around throughout the season,” Broncos head coach Vic Fangio said Saturday. “She did a really nice job here. She’s knowledgeable, very passionate about strength and conditioning aspect. We’re happy to have her, and we’re going to keep her on for the entire season.”

She previously worked with the New York Knicks until the 2019-20 season was shut down due to COVID-19, the article read. Following that, she caught on with the Broncos internship via the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship — which gives coaches with college teams and other areas the opportunity to work with an NFL team in training camp.

“It’s been a wonderful experience and opportunity to coach in the NFL,” Zaler recently told the Broncos’ website. “And I’m really appreciative for Mr. [John] Elway, Coach Fangio and Coach Landow for the opportunity to be here … It’s always been a dream of mine to coach within the NFL.”

Zaler joins a growing list of women to the male-dominated staffs of NFL franchises. In addition to Zaler is Kate Sowers, an offensive assistant with the San Francisco 49ers, Maral Javadifar, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ assistant strength and conditioning coach, Lori Locust, an assistant defensive line coach also with Tampa, and Callie Brownson, a chief of staff with the Cleveland Browns.

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“Over the last decade, I’ve been told more times than I can count that I would never have the opportunity to work in the NFL or the NBA because I’m a woman, and there are a handful of women who have led the way for me that have had the opportunity and shown me that it is possible,” Zaler told “I hope to do the same for the next generation of female strength and conditioning coaches who want to work in an elite male sport.”

To read the full article from ESPN on the Denver Broncos hiring Emily Zaler as a full-time strength coach, click here

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