Tampa Bay Buccaneers Hire Two Female Coaches

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made history becoming the first NFL team to hire two full-time female coaches. The two women who have been hired are Maral Javadifar as assistant strength and conditioning coach and Lori Locust as assistant defensive line coach. Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians commented on the addition to the coaching staff stating, “I know how hard it can be to get that first opportunity to coach at the highest level of professional football. Sometimes, all you need is the right organization to offer up the opportunity. The Glazer family and our general manager, Jason Licht, were extremely supportive of my decision, and I know Maral and Lori will be great additions to my coaching staff.” These two women have a long history in athletics that has given them the skills to work to the best of their ability.

Image Courtesy: Tampa Bay Times

Maral Javadifar (pictured above) has most recently worked as a physical therapist at Avant Physical Therapy in Seattle, after completing her Sports Physical Therapy Residency at Virginia Commonwealth in August of 2018. Before her time at VCU, Javadifar worked as a physical therapist and performance trainer in Virginia, where she served as guest lecturer at George Mason University. The Queens, New York native earned her doctorate degree in physical therapy from New York Medical College and her Molecular Biology degree from Pace University, where she also played college basketball.

Image Courtesy: Fan Buzz

Lori Locust (pictured above) will serve as assistant to defensive line coach Kacy Rodgers. Locust joins the Buccaneers following a long background in coaching, most recently working as the defensive line coach for the Birmingham Iron of the Alliance of American Football this spring. In 2018, Locust served as a defensive coaching intern for the Baltimore Ravens during the team’s training camp. Before that, from 2017-2018, she worked as a defensive line coach and co-special team’s coordinator of the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks of the National Arena League. Locust began her coaching career following four years as a player in women’s semi-professional football. At the start of her experience with coaching, Locust worked as an assistant coach from 2010-2018 at Susquehanna Township High School, from which she graduated. She also held roles as an assistant coach with the Central Penn Piranha, a semi-professional team in her hometown of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, from 2013-16, along with the DMV Elite semi-professional team from 2016-18 and the Keystone Assault of the Women’s Football Alliance from 2017-18. 

When speaking about Locust and Javadifar, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians added, “I have known Lori going back to my days at Temple University and I’ve seen firsthand just how knowledgeable and passionate she is about this game. I was equally impressed with Maral’s background in performance training and physical therapy and I know she will be a valuable asset to our strength and conditioning program.”

Overall, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made a priority of rebuilding most of their coaching staff, including the hiring of Arians, who previously retired from the NFL in 2017 after coaching in multiple positions since 2001. These efforts are being made with the hopes of improving their team since they have not made it to the playoffs since 2007. Locust and Javadifar earned these full-time positions through years of dedication and that will show through their work and commitment while they coach at the highest level of professional football. Not only is this great for the Buccaneers but it is also a huge step in the right direction for gender equality in the workplace. With women rightfully being given the opportunity to obtain these positions based on their skillset and regardless of their gender, we can hope to see our society moving forward in a more unbiased direction.