The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are making sweeping changes to their coaching staff this offseason, starting with offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich. But will one of the only female assistant coaches in the league be losing her job too?
The answer appears to be yes. According to NFL insider Ian Rapoport, the Bucs are parting ways with assistant defensive line coach Lori Locust.
“Coach Lo” has five years of NFL coaching experience and in 2019 became the first woman to be named a positional coach in league history when the Bucs hired her as assistant defensive line coach.
The following year, she became one of the two first female coaches to win a Super Bowl along with assistant strength and conditioning coach Maral Javadifar.
Lori Locust didn’t get her first coaching opportunities until she was in her 40s and initially served as an assistant on various women’s football teams. But she earned an assistant coaching job at Susquehanna High School in Pennsylvania that she held for nine years while building her resume at semipro teams across the state.
The Baltimore Ravens gave Locust her first shot at the NFL in 2018, hiring her as a defensive line coaching intern during training camp. She parlayed that opportunity into a job with the Birmingham Iron in the short-lived Alliance of American Football before her offer from the Buccaneers came a few months later.
There aren’t many women in the NFL, let alone in coaching positions. But Locust certainly deserves the title of trailblazer for being one of the first to find a position and relative success.