The National Football League’s summer training camps open in July. And at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers camp, rookie, Maral Javadifar (pronounced jah-vah-dee-far), starts her dream job.
In March, the Bucs hired Javadifar as an assistant strength and conditioning coach and the Queens New York native has the perfect background.
In high school, the five-foot ten-inch athlete showed toughness, and honed her basketball skills sharp enough to, even after an ACL tear, gain a spot on Pace University in New York‘s varsity team. It appeared “in the NCAA tournament three out of four years” and advanced to one Sweet 16.
Javadifar drives for Pace University
Scoring in the classroom, and on the court, she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from Pace. Javadifar later picked up her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from New York Medical College.
Prior to joining the Buccaneers, in 2018 she completed Virginia Commonwealth University’s year-long Sports Physical Therapy Residency program, and then worked in Seattle as a physical therapist.
In an interview, Javadifar advised women who desire work in athletics to, “Work hard and be confident. Seek opportunities that seem far fetched.”
Maral Javadifar, below right, leads a therapy session for a non-NFL ex-patient.
The Buccaneers also hired Lori Locust as assistant defensive line coach. The two women are the Buccaneer’s first full-time female coaches. The team says it became “the first NFL team with two female coaches on staff.”
Bruce Arians, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach, said, of the pair’s hiring, “I know how hard it can be to get that first opportunity to coach at the highest level of professional football. Sometimes, all you need is the right organization to offer up the opportunity… I know Maral and Lori will be great additions to my coaching staff.”
Follow Maral Javadifar on Twitter @Maraljavadifar
Check out Javadifar on the court