Titans hire Lori Locust as defensive assistant, franchise’s first full-time woman coach

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive line assistant Lori Locust is joining the Tennessee Titans, she announced on Twitter on Saturday.

“Blessed to be joining the Titans as part of Coach (Mike) Vrabel’s staff,” she said in a post with an image of the Titans’ logo, “can’t wait to get started on this next phase of my coaching career #TitanUp #LFG”

She also changed her Twitter profile picture to the team’s logo.

The NFL’s Sam Rapoport adds that Locust is joining Vrabel’s staff as assistant defensive coach and is the first full-time woman coach in franchise history.

The Titans went 7-10 and finished second in a poor-performing AFC South last season.

Who is Lori Locust?

Locust served as the assistant defensive line coach for the Buccaneers from when Bruce Arians hired her in 2019 to when she was among a group of coaches who were fired after Tampa Bay’s wild-card loss to the Dallas Cowboys to end the 2022 campaign.

Prior to that, Locust was an assistant defensive line coach for the Alliance of American Football’s Birmingham Iron and she got her first gig in the NFL in 2018 when she was an intern for the Baltimore Ravens. She spent four years as a player in a women’s semi-professional league before turning to coaching. Locust, known as Coach Lo, attended Temple University and hails from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

The Tropical Bowl established the Lori Locust Women’s Coaching Internship Award in her honor.

How has Lori Locust made NFL history?

In 2020, Locust and director of rehabilitation/performance coach Maral Javadifar became the first women coaches in the NFL to win a championship when the Buccaneers captured Super Bowl 55.

As a member of Tampa Bay, she was the third woman to hold a full-time assistant coach position in league history. She was also the only woman to hold a defensive coaching position in the league at the time she was fired.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers assistant defensive line coach Lori Locust is seen during pregame of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

How have the Tennessee Titans supported women in the past?

Ashley Cornwell was a member of the Titans’ offensive line coaching staff last season through the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship.

Rapoport described Vrabel as “a champion of the NFL Women’s Forum for years.” He participated in last year’s summit, which seeks to connect women interested in working in football with league leaders.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Titans hire Lori Locust as franchise’s first full-time woman coach

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