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Arizona Cardinals adding woman to coaching staff in what is believed to be an NFL first

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In his two years as Cardinals coach, Bruce Arians has assembled an eclectic mix of young and old assistants, ranging in age from their 20s to their late 70s.

Associated Press

Texas Revolution's Jennifer Welter warms up for the Revolution's Indoor more

Texas Revolution's Jennifer Welter warms up for the Revolution's Indoor Football League game against the North Texas Crunch on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, in Allen, Texas. Welter became what is believed to be the first woman who wasn't a kicker or holder to play in a men's pro football game. less

This year, that staff will be even more diverse, including a woman and the creation of the Bill Bidwill Coaching Fellowship.

Jen Welter will work with the team’s inside linebackers

throughout training camp and the preseason. It’s believed she is the first female to hold a coaching position of any kind in the NFL.

In addition, former Steelers linebacker Levon Kirkland becomes the inaugural participant in the fellowship named after the Cardinals owner.

Welter will be among seven coaching interns working with the team this summer. Her tenure in 2015 will be short, but meaningful.

Arians provided a hint last spring that such a move was possible, though he had no specific plans then.

Last spring, Arians was asked about Sarah Thomas becoming the NFL’s first female official. Arians mentioned that it would be reasonable to think a woman could also coach in the NFL.

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