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Kansas native changing the game, making history at Super Bowl LIV

Posted at 6:17 AM, Jan 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-29 12:22:27-05

OVERLAND PARK, Kan.  — A Kansas native is making history in Miami.

San Francisco 49ers Offensive Assistant Coach Katie Sowers, who is from Hesston, will become the first female coach in Super Bowl history.

Proud is an understatement.

From playing football to becoming a coach in the National Football League, Katie Sowers' family told 41 Action News she has worked incredibly hard to reach Super Bowl LIV.

They said they can't wait to cheer her on from the sidelines of Hard Rock Stadium. The only problem is, not all of her family will be cheering on Katie's team.

"We're cheering for the Chiefs right? No we're cheering for the 49ers," Stephanie and Dion Sankar argued.

It could be a game day decision for some, but for most of Katie Sowers' family, they'll be cheering on the 49ers on Super Bowl Sunday.

"Being a Chiefs fan originally, I always told everyone that I would be a Chiefs fan unless they play the 49ers, and I'm like that won't happen unless they're in the Super Bowl," Liz Sowers said.

Nobody thought the two teams would meet in Super Bowl LIV.

Katie's mother, Bonnie Sowers, told 41 Action News she won't be at the game, but she'll be at home in Overland Park cheering her daughter on.

"I'm a very proud mom, I couldn't be prouder of Katie and her team, the 49ers, the accomplishments that they've had this year," Bonnie Sowers said.

Katie's love for football started at a young age, but it wasn't until 2009 that she began playing the sport, starting every game for the West Michigan Mayhem.

After years of playing several different positions - which included safety, wide receiver and quarterback - Katie made the switch to coaching, which then led her to the NFL.

"She was coaching Scott Pioli's fifth grade daughter, and so from that connection, she then went on with the Atlanta Falcons, she followed him there and that's where she met Kyle Shanahan, and then was able to make her way to San Francisco when he went there," Liz Sowers explained.

In Katie's four seasons in the NFL, she's made a lasting impact both on and off the field.

"Young girls, like today at the mall, a girl and her mom approached me and said, are you the coach on the commercial, and I said no, that's my twin sister and her daughter goes, what commercial and she's like, the female football coach - see girls can do anything, and I think that's just the message," Liz Sowers said.

Kansas native will be featured in Super Bowl ad

"You play like a girl" is a common playground insult.

With leaders like Katie, that statement is now a compliment.

"If I can be that role model for young women and help them realize their dreams and encourage them that they can follow their dreams, that's really important to her," Bonnie Sowers said.

Just like any other assistant coach, Katie dreams of becoming a head coach in the NFL one day.

Her family said they have no doubt in their minds that she'll achieve her dreams.

Editor's note: The story has been updated to reflect that Katie Sowers is originally from Hesston, Kansas, and not the Kansas City area, though her mother now lives in Overland Park.