First female position coach in Division I football to assist Buccaneers during training camp

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – She is a football player, a college football coach, and, soon, Heather Marini will be a part of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers coaching staff.

Marini is joining the team for training camp as a part of the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship and will be assisting the Buccaneers coaching staff for three weeks starting on Sunday.

“The Buccaneers are an incredible program, obviously, coming off of a Super Bowl win,” said Marini, “but I do not think we have seen the best of them yet, incredible players and incredible coaches.”

Marini is currently the quarterbacks coach at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. When she accepted the position in 2020, she became the first female position coach in Division I football.

She also plays football competitively for the Boston Renegades and says she is the backup quarterback behind the “Tom Brady of the league.”

“I coached football for a really long time before I ever got the opportunity to put on pads and a helmet,” she said, “so I felt like I had more left in me and I thought it would be fun to go down there.”

She will be with her team when they compete for their third consecutive national championship in Canton, Ohio on Saturday and, then, she will be flying to Tampa to start her fellowship on Sunday.

Marini told me she is excited about the opportunity and is anxious to learn as much as possible.

“You don’t know what you don’t know,” she said, “and, sometimes, you have to be open to everything. I really hope that, if I can bring one thing back to the quarterbacks room here at Brown, it will be a great success for me in the time that I am there.”

Marini participated in a scouting program with the New York Jets before she arrived at Brown University in 2019 where Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles was the head coach of the Jets at that time. She commented on her relationship with him.

Although she has not been told if she will be sharing the sidelines with Coach Bowles during training camp, I do not doubt that Bowles will recognize Marini and her passion for the sport instantly.

“I want to be able to get in there and contribute and help and anything I can do to make the coaches’ jobs easier during what is a stressful time with training camp and to learn as much as I can,” she added. “Sometimes it is the little things you pick up that make all of the difference.”

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