For Pride month, we’ve dedicated each day of June to an individual athlete or coach whose shining moment changed LGBTQ sports.
Today: Katie Sowers becomes the first openly gay coach in the Super Bowl, on Feb. 2, 2020.
Normally, NFL assistant coaches are rarely seen or heard during Super Bowl week, but Katie Sowers was no normal coach.
When Super Bowl LIV kicked off in Miami on Feb 2, Sowers made history in two ways — as the first woman and the first openly gay coach in the Super Bowl. Not bad for a kid from Kansas who long dreamed of playing football and was only in her third year as an offensive assistant for the 49ers.
On Super Bowl media night, Sowers got more media attention than anyone outside of the two head coaches and star players, and she used her platform to discuss the significance of her achievement.
“I feel like a broken record, but what I want to continue to say is that even though I’m the first, the most important thing is I’m not the last and we continue to grow it,” Sowers said.
Sowers saw her profile raised since coming out publicly on Outsports in 2017, but it wasn’t until the 49ers’ Super Bowl run in 2019 that it really took off. She was featured in an ad for Microsoft that ran during the playoffs and Fox’s Super Bowl pregame show did a segment on her.
Sowers has been both a role model for young women who hope they can break into male-dominated areas like pro football and for LGBTQ people in sports.