New York, NY (January 29, 2019) – Today, the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) and Atlanta Falcons Assistant General Manager Scott Pioli announced the “Scott Pioli & Family Fund for Women Football Coaches and Scouts.” The endowed fund, established in May 2018, supports the development, education and training of aspiring female football coaches and scouts who are pursuing careers in collegiate or professional football in the United States.
Currently in his 27th season in the National Football League (NFL) and sixth year with the Falcons, Scott Pioli has served as a mentor for women within the industry, and he joined the Women’s Sports Foundation Board of Trustees in the fall of 2018. “Our endowment fund will ensure that women enter the leadership pipeline in football,” said Pioli. “My family and I chose to partner with the Women’s Sports Foundation on this new initiative because of its commitment to equality and expertise in closing the gender gap, and we were inspired by Billie Jean King’s vision to see women and men advancing together in all areas of sports.”
Women have made great strides on the gridiron in recent years, from high school varsity head coach Natalie Randolph to the NFL’s director of football development, Samantha Rapoport, and the league’s female coaches including Kathryn Smith, Katie Sowers and Jen Welter. There is also an upward trend in the number of girls’ flag football programs in middle and high schools around the country.
“The Foundation is excited to partner with the Pioli family to strengthen and expand career paths for women in sports,” expressed WSF CEO Deborah Antoine. “We believe the Scott Pioli & Family Fund for Women Football Coaches and Scouts will help women continue to shatter glass ceilings in football and lead them to enter new territory in the sports world.”
The fund is now accepting applications and will award its first grant this year. The selection committee is comprised of an esteemed group of female coaches and scouts in the industry who have competed in elite athletics including offensive assistant coach for the San Francisco 49ers, Katie Sowers, and two-time USA Women’s Football National Team member and Co-Founder of the Women’s National Football Conference (WNFC) Odessa Jenkins.
For more information about the Pioli & Family Fund including selection criteria, application guidelines or how to make a gift, visit the Foundation’s web site, https://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/piolifund/. Grants will be made through a rolling, year-round selection process.
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About The Women’s Sports Foundation
The Women’s Sports Foundation is a powerful voice, catalyst and convener dedicated to ensuring all girls have equal access to sports and physical activity and the tremendous lifelong benefits they provide. Founded by Billie Jean King in 1974, we seek to strengthen and expand opportunities for all girls and women to participate in all sports at all levels through research, advocacy, community impact and a wide variety of collaborative partnerships. The Women’s Sports Foundation has relationships with more than 1,000 of the world’s elite female athletes and has positively shaped the lives of more than 3 million youth, high school and collegiate student-athletes. To learn more about the Women’s Sports Foundation, please visit www.WomensSportsFoundation.org.
About Scott Pioli
A three-time Super Bowl winner and five-time NFL executive of the year winner, Scott Pioli was named NFL Executive of the Decade by Sporting News and Sports Illustrated and named ESPN Personnel Executive of the Decade. As assistant general manager for the Atlanta Falcons, Pioli is passionate about the importance of equality, education and the arts and focuses on those three cornerstones through several initiatives. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE), The Women’s Intersport Network for Kansas City (WIN for KC) and the Black College Football Hall of Fame. Pioli also serves on the board for College for Every Student, a national nonprofit committed to underserved youth, most of whom will be first-generation college students. Pioli also founded the WIN for KC Pioli Scholarship, along with a number of academic scholarships geared toward first-generation college students. Pioli joined the Women’s Sports Foundation Board of Trustees in 2018.
Women’s Sports Foundation