Bears make organizational history with hiring of Jennifer King
Geoff Burke - USA Today Sports

Bears make organizational history with hiring of Jennifer King


by - Senior Writer -

The Chicago Bears are no strangers to NFL history, and for the most part, some of that history isn't good. Well, Tuesday marked a brand new era for the Chicago Bears as they made history within their own organization and are finally on the right side of history for a change.

In case you missed it, the Chicago Bears hired another assistant coach for the upcoming season, and this one comes in the form of an offensive assistant who will also be working with the RBs. She is Jennifer King and is officially the first female coach in Chicago Bears history. That is where the narrative gets tied into this, as the Bears now have a female on their staff, which could pave the way for more hires down the road.

King has been around the league for a few years now as women coaches are becoming more of the norm across the league the past few years as the Bears have finally joined the rest of the league. Also, King isn't the only female to be working closely with the Bears and their organization, as Ashton Washington has been their full-time scout since 2021.

Not to mention, King is considered a Minority coach, and when you look at the Bear's current coaching staff, they have five minority coaches, which is good. When you look at her track record, it is hard to pinpoint how she got involved with the NFL, but CBS Insider Jonathan Jones notes that King is the first black woman coach in league history. This means King is breaking another barrier in Chicago by being the first Black female assistant coach in franchise history. Talk about a lot of history with one signing for an organization that knows all about history.

King got her start in the NFL in 2018 when she was a member of the Carolina Panthers staff. Across two seasons in Carolina, King worked on the offensive side of the ball, filling the roles of a WR coach intern in 2018 and a RB coach Intern in 2019. That connection alone is worth noting, as her final year in Carolina was DJ Moore's rookie season with the Panthers.

Following her brief stint with the Panthers, King got her first big break, and it came at the collegiate level, where many young aspiring coaches begin their journey. This time, King made her way to the Northeast part of the country, where she called Dartmouth her home. Unlike her Carolina days, where she worked with more position groups, she had more responsibilities with Dartmouth as she was the team's offensive assistant and helped lead one of the best offenses in the IVY League that season.

That alone was good enough to get King back in the NFL as she latched on with the Washington Commanders in 2020 and spent the past four seasons with that organization. What started as another intern role turned into an assistant RB coach role she served for the past three seasons. She will now look to build on that success in Chicago while working with the RBs in some aspect once again.

"Jennifer King is an exceptional leader and passionate coach who will be a positive addition to the Chicago Bears," President & CEO Kevin Warren said. "As the first full-time Black female coach in the history of the National Football League, Jennifer has established herself as a hard worker, pioneer, and trailblazer."

Looking at the overall success and failures of the Bears over the past five seasons, you see a lack of discipline and poor execution at times. In other words, they haven't been a smart team, so hopefully, King can use some of that IVY League knowledge to get this team to play a smarter brand of football. King is not only working with a position she is familiar with, spending four seasons working with RBs before, but joining a rushing attack that has been one of the best in the NFL for the past two seasons.

"Chicago is a great city, and the Bears organization is historic," King said. "I started paying attention to the Bears playing video games like Tecmo Bowl back in the day because Walter Payton was unstoppable in the game. I used to always play with them on there. Then obviously working for coach Rivera, he's been so important in my life and him being a part of those historic defenses with the Bears as well. It's definitely an exciting time. Hopefully we can hit the ground running and get ready for 2024.

"To be a first in such a historic organization is a special moment. To be a part of that culture that's in the building is exciting. I think we're going to do some really cool things and I'm definitely excited for the upcoming season."

Should Justin Fields remain the starter next season, he will add to the Bears overall rushing attack which will have Khalil Herbert, Roschon Johnson and at least one more RB coming into the mix. It will be interesting to see how King fits in and what she can do with all those pieces.

"We are extremely excited to welcome Jennifer to our coaching staff," said general manager Ryan Poles. "She is a great addition to our running backs room and brings years of valuable playing and coaching experience to the table."

"We are extremely excited to welcome Jennifer King to the Chicago Bears family," Eberflus said. "She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our football team. She has a contagious spirit and coaches the game with immense passion. We are looking forward to working with her and seeing the positive impact that she will have on the Chicago Bears."

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