Buffalo Bills Hire Marissa Figueroa As First Female Full-time Assistant Athletic Trainer

Buffalo Bills Hire Marissa Figueroa As First Female Full-time Assistant Athletic Trainer

In the world of professional sports, gender equality is still an uphill battle. However, the NFL has been making strides to close the gap, and they continue to do so with Marissa Figueroa.

This week, the Buffalo Bills announced the hiring of Figueroa as a full-time assistant athletic trainer. Figueroa, who was part of the Bills’ athletic training staff and medical personnel responsible for the life-saving emergency response and continued care of safety Damar Hamlin, joins the over 100 certified athletic trainers employed by the league’s 32 teams. Of that number, only 21 are women.

Figueroa’s hiring makes her the first woman to take on this role in the Bills’ franchise history.

The California native started her career with the team as an assistant in 2021, after interning with the San Diego Chargers in 2018. Marissa Figueroa studied kinesiology at Humboldt State and earned her master’s degree in athletic training at California Baptist University. She will join head athletic trainer Nate Breske, assistant athletic trainers Denny Kellington and Tabani Richards, and rehabilitation coordinator/physical therapist Joe Micca, as reported by The Buffalo News.

The NFL was also in the news at the beginning of last season after the hiring of the third female official in the league’s history. Robin DeLorenzo joined Sarah Thomas and Maia Chaka throughout the 2022-2023 season. Chaka became the league’s first Black woman to be hired as a full-time official in 2021. “I am honored to be selected as an NFL official,” Chaka said in a statement released by the league at the time. “But this moment is bigger than a personal accomplishment. It is an accomplishment for all women, my community, and my culture.”

Women have also made their way onto the sidelines for the NFL, with 15 female coaches in the 2022 season, including the Philadelphia EaglesAutumn Lockwood, who became the first Black woman to coach in a Super Bowl.

Currently, there are no women who hold the highly coveted head coaching position of any of the league’s franchises.