TAMPA, Fla. -- With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 31-9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night, Lori Locust and Maral Javadifar have become the first female assistant coaches to win a Super Bowl.
This week they became the first pair of female coaches on a single team to coach in the Super Bowl, while referee Sarah Thomas became the first official to work a Super Bowl. Last year, Katie Sowers became the first female coach to coach in the Super Bowl, when the San Francisco 49ers lost to the Chiefs 31-20.
"It was time to knock those doors down," said Bucs coach Bruce Arians, who made a conscious decision to seek qualified women for roles on his staff.
Locust, who took up semiprofessional football at age 40 and most recently coached in the AAF and was an intern with the Baltimore Ravens under renowned defensive line coach Joe Cullen, was hired last offseason as the Bucs' assistant defensive line coach.
Javadifar, a former college basketball player at Pace with a doctorate in physical therapy, was hired as the Bucs' assistant strength and conditioning coach/physical therapist.
"Hopefully the teams, like Tampa Bay, have set the example to start to look at candidates regardless of gender or color and really start to broaden their talent pool," Locust said earlier this week.
Arians hopes this will lead to more opportunities for teams to hire deserving female coaches.
"It's awesome," Arians told ESPN. "I hope it breaks down more doors."
Arians has also been a champion of racial diversity. All three coordinators -- offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and special-teams coordinator Keith Armstrong -- are Black coaches, as is run game coordinator/assistant head coach Harold Goodwin.