Kansas native Katie Sowers won't return to 49ers in 2021

Posted at 9:05 PM, Jan 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-07 22:05:42-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Offensive assistant Katie Sowers, the first openly gay coach in NFL history, will not be returning to the San Francisco 49ers in 2021 after becoming the first female coach to make it to the Super Bowl last year.

Sowers announced the news Thursday afternoon in an Instagram post, which read, in part: "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 #foreverfaithful"

A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that the 34-year-old Sowers will be leaving coach Kyle Shanahan’s staff, where she worked closely with receivers coach Wes Welker.

Sowers, who is from Hesston, Kansas, 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.

She also was the first openly gay coach in NFL history.

"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," Sowers wrote on Instagram. "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."

Sowers just completed her fifth NFL season, including the last three with San Francisco. She was a seasonal offseason assistant in 2017-18 before joining the full-time staff before the 2019 season and also previously spent time with the Atlanta Falcons.