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Jennifer King: To be a first in such a historic organization is a special moment

The Bears formally announced the addition of Jennifer King as assistant running backs coach on Wednesday.

King, 39, is the first woman coach in Bears history.

“Chicago is a great city, and the Bears organization is historic,” King said in a statement released by the team. “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 [Ron] 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.”

King spent the last three seasons as Washington’s assistant running backs coach under head coach Ron Rivera. She began her time in the league under Rivera in 2018 with the Panthers as a receivers coaching intern. After serving as a running backs coaching intern in 2019, she was an offensive assistant for Dartmouth. Then she made her way back to the league as a coaching intern for Washington in 2020.

“Jennifer King is an exceptional leader and passionate coach who will be a positive addition to the Chicago Bears,” Bears president and 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.”

General Manager Ryan Poles added that the team is “extremely excited to welcome Jennifer to our coaching staff. … She is a great addition to our running backs room and brings years of valuable playing and coaching experience to the table.

Head coach Matt Eberflus said King “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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