Scottsdale’s Women’s History Month event features Collette V. Smith, the NFL’s first African American female coach

In honor of Women’s History Month, the city of Scottsdale invites the community to a special presentation by Collette V. Smith, a barrier breaker who made history when she became the National Football League’s first African American female coach.

Learn more about her amazing journey at a free event which begins at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 21, at Scottsdale Community College’s Indigenous Cultural Center, 9000 E. Chaparral Road.

“We are excited to have Collette share her inspiring story with us. Collette’s journey has opened doors for many women in professional sports, from leadership roles in the front office to coaching and refereeing jobs in the NBA and NFL,” said Diversity Program Director Jackie Johnson. “We applaud Collette for the work she’s done to empower other women.”

Smith joined the New York Jets coaching staff in 2017 becoming the first African American female coach in the NFL and the first female coach for the Jets. Her professional football career started at 42, playing for the New York Sharks, an all-women’s professional football team. After being sidelined by an injury, she served as coach and director of marketing for the Women’s Football League Association and Independent Women’s Football League.

Committed to giving back to the community, she is an ambassador for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Up2UsSports and the Voss Foundation which facilitates access to clean water for women in rural Africa. She is also an Official Wish Grantor with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions. 

Register for the event at, search “women’s history month.” To inquire about sponsorship opportunities, contact Jackie Johnson at 480-312-7616.

Women’s History Month is a celebration of women’s contributions to history, culture and society and has been observed annually in March in the United States since 1987.

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