Super Bowl 2023: Eagles assistant Autumn Lockwood set to become first Black woman to coach at game

No matter the outcome, Super Bowl LVII is making history. When the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs clash on Feb. 12, Eagles assistant performance coach Autumn Lockwood will stand on the sidelines as the first Black woman to coach in the event’s history.

Lockwood joined the Eagles in August of 2022 after working as coordinator of sports performance at the University of Houston. Before that, she earned a master’s degree in sports management from East Tennessee State University and worked primarily with the men’s and women’s basketball teams. During her undergraduate studies, she was a soccer player at University of Arizona, where she honed her skills directing the strength and conditioning program along with warmups for the university’s cheerleading team.

A good warmup is crucial to prime performance, something that Lockwood was captured facilitating before the NFC championship game. In a reporter’s video, she can be seen emphasizing proper form for cornerback Avonte Maddox who had just returned from an ankle injury before the blowout win.

She eventually took her talents to University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she worked as the football team’s strength and conditioning assistant during the 2017 season. As noted by the university’s football communications director, Lockwood is also the daughter of a former UNLV coach. Her father, David, was a starting cornerback himself for West Virginia. He also worked as a defensive coordinator in the Big Ten Conference and coached cornerbacks at University of Arizona.

She is the fourth woman to coach in a Super Bowl. Her milestone appearance comes as four of the six full-time female coaches in the league are women of color. Washington Commanders assistant running backs coach Jennifer King is also Black.

The Eagles’ Jalen Hurts and Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes will also make history as the first Black quarterbacks to face-off for the title while Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce and Philadelphia center Jason Kelce will become the first siblings to compete against each other in a Super Bowl.

In a league where progress can be slow, these historic moments will inspire future coaches and players for years to come.

Autumn Lockwood  (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
Autumn Lockwood will take the sidelines for the Philadelphia Eagles on Super Bowl Sunday and make history. Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)