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The world of football is often associated with being a straight boys’ club. Katie Sowers overturns all those preconceptions as the new San Fransisco 49ers assistant coach.

“Many people ask how I made it to where I am, on such an untraditional route and it’s easy to say ‘you have to believe in yourself and dreams will come true’ but that’s only part of it, and in my opinion that’s only the second part,” she shared via a Facebook post. “It’s important for all to know that dreams are achieved by first finding someone who sees your worth and value, regardless of your gender, and takes the necessary steps to clear a path, even on the path less traveled.”

Sowers started out with the NFL as a scouting intern just last year, and made connections with an offensive coordinator who went on to become the 49ers coach. From there she went on to become an intern with the 49ers, then move up to serve as assistant coach. She claims that many LGBTQ folks are involved with the NFL and feel comfortable about being open with their sexuality. The NFL also recently launched an NFL Pride to celebrate their queer employees.

“No matter what you do in life, one of the most important things is to be true to who you are,” Sowers stated in an interview with  OutSports. “The more we can create an environment that welcomes all types of people, no matter their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, the more we can help ease the pain and burden that many carry every day.”

Sowers hopes to be an inspiration and inroad for both women and queer people looking to work in the world of professional football.