SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP/CBS13) – Offensive assistant Katie Sowers, the first female coach to make it to the Super Bowl, will not be returning to the San Francisco 49ers in 2021.
A person familiar with the situation said Thursday that the 34-year-old Sowers will be leaving coach Kyle Shanahan’s staff, where she worked closely with receivers coach Wes Welker. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team hadn’t made an announcement.
The Bay Area News Group first reported Sowers’ departure and said she is looking for an expanded role on another team.
Sowers posted a message on Instagram regarding the matter.
“We have been through so much together over the last 4 years and words will never express how much your love and acceptance meant to me,” she wrote. “I will forever cherish the memories and hearing your stories throughout the years.”
Sowers generated a big following after becoming the second woman to work as a full-time assistant coach in the NFL, following Kathryn Smith, who was a special teams assistant in Buffalo in 2016. Sowers was also the first openly gay coach in the NFL.
She was part of San Francisco’s staff that went to the Super Bowl last season and was featured in a prominent Microsoft commercial thanking her for knocking down doors for other women.
Sowers, who played in the Women’s Football Alliance and for USA Football’s national team, got her start in the NFL in 2016 with Atlanta through the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship when Shanahan was offensive coordinator for the Falcons.
She followed Shanahan to San Francisco the following season and was hired as a full-time assistant in 2018, working extensively with the team’s wide receivers.
Read her full Instagram message below:
We have been through so much together over the last 4 years and words will never express how much your love and acceptance meant to me. I will forever cherish the memories and hearing your stories throughout the years. Together, we made a difference in this world. You were there every step of the way..from my first day at Levi’s , to the super bowl, and even when my Dad passed away. You all supported me through it all. Change is inevitable in this life.. enjoy every minute and cherish the memories because time will pass you by faster than you know. One last walk out of the tunnel. I am forever grateful for my time in SF… until we meet again.”