Collette V. Smith, who was a defensive backs coach for the New York Jets in 2017, stopped by LeMoyne Owen to talk with students. (Photo:

Collette V. Smith, a trailblazer in the world of American football, made history in 2017 as the first African American woman to coach in the NFL. And recently, the pioneer stopped by LeMoyne-Owen College to talk with students about her journey.

Joining the New York Jets as a defensive backs coach during their training camp, Smith, a former player herself with the New York Sharks in the Independent Women’s Football League, has been an inspiring figure, challenging norms and advocating for diversity in sports.

Her journey from the field to the sidelines exemplifies determination and a passion for the game, paving the way for future generations of women in professional football.”