On Monday the Tampa Bay Bucs announced the creation of a new position within their organization. With that announcement the team also said they had filled the post with an internal hire. Maral Javadifar has been promoted from her previous position as assistant strength and conditioning coach/physical therapist. Her new title will be director of rehabilitation and performance coach. Javadifar has been with the team for three seasons.

In her new role she will lead rehab efforts for players by working collaboratively with many different departments. She has already shown herself to be able to approach her role from non-traditional aspects. Javadifar has done this by applying her background as a physical therapist to her strength and conditioning role.

As she stated during an interview leading up to the Super Bowl in 2020, “We have five strength and conditioning coaches and we each bring something different to the table. My physical therapy background allows me to hone-in on movements or assessments that we see with these guys that will target things that they need individually to make them most successful on the field. That’s our primary goal is ‘How do we get this player to excel at their craft?’ And we’ve been able to use my background and the background of the other assistant strength coaches to really drive that and hone-in on that matter.”

What The Organization Is Saying About Javadifar

Javadifar has drawn praise from multiple levels of the organization with this promotion.  Buccaneers co-owner Darcie Glazer Kassewitz said of the promotion, “We value diversity and the inclusive culture that continues to thrive throughout our organization. Maral’s promotion is an example of what can be accomplished when opportunities are available to all. She is immensely talented and will play a crucial role in the treatment of our players and their on-field success.”

General manager Jason Licht had the following to say about Javadifar. “Maral has been integral to the care and development of our players since she arrived here in 2019,” Licht said. “She is multi-talented in the areas of sports science and medicine and earned this promotion through her excellent work and the confidence we, and our players, have in her. Maral’s experience and skillset in both on-field performance and rehabilitation is unique and offers us many advantages as we continue enhancing our group effort to provide the best care, recovery, and development of our players.”

Finally, new head coach Todd Bowles added: “MJ has been an important member of our strength and conditioning staff these past three seasons, and I am looking forward to seeing her in this expanded role. She is a dedicated professional and a great person who really connects with the players. We are always looking for ways to refine and improve our sports science approach to treatment for our players. MJ’s unique experience level and understanding of both the medical and on-field performance will allow us to provide a seamless and comprehensive way of treating, rehabilitating, and developing the on-field performance of our players.”

How This Promotion Fits In With the Team’s Vision of Inclusion

Javadifar joined the team in 2019. She became one of only seven female coaches in the NFL at that time. That number grew to 12 in 2021. The Bucs have prided themselves as being a progressive organization when it comes to diversity. In addition to Javadifar, the Bucs also employ assistant defensive line coach Lori Locust. In 2021, the Bucs also had Heather Marinias as a Bill Walsh coaching fellow. This promotion reinforces that commitment once more.

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About the Author: Joshua Queipo

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surferdudes
surferdudes
2 months ago

Nice that our team is leading the way with female, and black coaches. Of course it wouldn’t mean anything if they couldn’t produce. Lucky for us that’s not the case. These coaches, and trainers have us at the top of the league vying for another super bowl. Not only is our staff diverse, they’re damn good too.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  surferdudes
2 months ago

I know this sounds counterintuitive to a lot of people – some white men in particular – but when any group of professionals is more diverse, it provides more opportunity to get the best, most talented, most dedicated team members on your team. “Diversity hire” is a term often used to denigrate people who aren’t white males when they’re hired (you see that kind of commentary here in the comment threads at PR all the time, such as when discussing Todd Bowles or Byron Leftwich), as if the only reason they were hired was because of their skin color or… Read more »

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  Naplesfan
2 months ago

So in other words, instead of thinking of Bucs’ hiring practices as “The team is great despite all the diversity hires”, it’s rather that the Bucs are successful precisely because of all the great hires, regardless of race, gender, etc.

gcolerick
gcolerick
2 months ago

Hoping we have more success with injuries in 2022 than we did in 2021. We were totally snakebit with injuries last year.

Eddie
Eddie
Reply to  gcolerick
2 months ago

Hopefully this is the change that we need to improve on the player availability front

Sactobuc
Sactobuc
2 months ago

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have flooded the NFL with quite a few “minority” coaches that have gone to head coach positions. So I say the Bucs are not targeting a diverse organization, but a “quality” organization inclusive of a diverse group of coaches. Thank you Tony Dungy for laying the pavement.