SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- After spending the offseason as the first female coaching intern in San Francisco 49ers history, Katie Sowers is staying with the team for the entire 2017 season.
Sowers announced that she has accepted a season-long coaching position with the Niners on her Facebook page Saturday night and coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed it Tuesday afternoon. Upon staying with the team, she will become just the second female in league history to be a full-time assistant for a season.
"I wanted to share with my friends and family that I have accepted a season long coaching position with the San Francisco 49ers," Sowers wrote on Facebook. "Many people ask how I made it to where I am, on such an untraditional route and it's easy to say, 'you have to believe in yourself and dreams will come true' but that's only part of it, and in my opinion that's only the second part. It's important for all to know that dreams are achieved by first finding someone who sees your worth and value, regardless of your gender, and takes the necessary steps to clear a path, even on the path less traveled."
Sowers went on to give extensive credit to Atlanta Falcons assistant general manager Scott Pioli for giving her a chance and believing in her to do a good job.
Although Sowers' title is not yet decided, she has spent the previous few months with the Niners serving as an assistant focused on helping the wide receivers. Shanahan brought Sowers to San Francisco as part of the Bill Walsh NFL Coaching Diversity Fellowship after working with her with the Falcons last year.
"We plan on her assisting with the receivers," Shanahan said. "Katie did a real good job for us in Atlanta, she's done a really good job here. She helps [receivers coach] Mike LaFleur out, just with some rotations and she helps our quality control [coaches] out just with all the stuff they have to do. She's a hard worker, you don't even notice her because she just goes to work and does what's asked. Because of that, she's someone we'd like to keep around. We're still figuring out exact titles and stuff and what that aspect is but she's done a good job for us two years in a row in camp and we'd like to have her help out throughout the year."
It's unclear if Sowers will have a role beyond this season but she will be a full-time member of the staff during the year, according to Shanahan.
"We told her we'd like her here and we'd like her to stay for the rest of the year," Shanahan said. "We'd like her internship not to end. I don't know of exact title, what that means, but I guess when you ask her to stay for the year, you definitely want her the whole time. She's not going to leave at half day or anything so I guess that would mean full time."
Previously, Sowers played soccer, basketball and ran track at Goshen (Indiana) College and got a master's degree from Central Missouri State.
Sowers follows Kathryn Smith, who was the Buffalo Bills special teams quality control coach in 2016 but was not retained after a staff change, as women to hold season-long jobs coaching in the league.