#HipNJ’s Lisa Marie Latino sat down with the NFL’s first African-American female coach for the New York Jets, Collette Smith, on how she made franchise history.
As defensive backs coach during the NY Jets pre-season, Smith stands for determination and empowering others. As a young girl she always loved football, however she was never allowed to play. At the age of 42, she discovered a women’s pro football team on the internet. After she retired from the team, she started coaching and was involved in the marketing and PR for the team. Anyway she could be involved in football, she was.
Currently, she is the Director of Government and Community Relations for a new women’s league, the Women’s National Football Conference (WNFC). Through this, Smith is a huge advocate for women’s sports. There is a big presence where women are knowing more about this league and getting involved. In national football alone, 51% of viewership is from women, as well as apparel and purchasing tickets.
Smith created her own company, Believe N You, Inc., where she helps encourage other people through her experiences. She reaches out to others, visiting organizations, corporations, and schools, “For me, it’s about going to underserved communities and speaking to kids and to women about everything that they want to do.” She is all about putting your mind to something and pushing forward to be successful.
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