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.