How Connie Carberg became the NFL's first female scout originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Connie Carberg's story is an inspiring one for women looking to break into football and sports industry.
In 1976, Carberg made history when she joined the New York Jets to become the NFL's first female scout. She spent five years in the Jets' personnel department and helped the organization acquire several talented players, including Pro Bowler Mark Gastineau.
Carberg left her mark during a time in which women weren't offered many opportunities in sports, especially football. On the Next Pats Podcast with Phil Perry, Carberg explained how she gained an interest in the sport and eventually broke barriers to become the first female NFL scout.
U.S. & World
"I played all kinds of sports growing up. There weren't a lot of extra things as far as football," Carberg said. "Now, women can play tackle football. There's a real tackle football league, there's flag that's really growing everywhere, so it really makes it a lot easier for women.
"I started studying football and learning it. I had an earth science teacher that I would stay after school and learn from him. Then I had Walt Michaels who was the defensive coordinator for the Jets in Super Bowl 3. ... Walt Michaels was in my house a lot because he was close to my dad, and he would teach me a lot of football. So I just kept learning, and the only way back then was Street & Smith magazine, there was one football game on Saturdays ... Then I made my own mock drafts when I was 16."
As if putting together mock drafts at 16 isn't impressive enough, Carberg even recalls nailing her first pick of Ron Yary back in 1968.
As she grew older and went off to college, Carberg realized she was missing an important part of her life.
"From there, after the Jets won the Super Bowl, I went off to an all-girls college (Wheaton College) up in Norton, Mass. I played basketball. I played two years there because I loved the sport, and then I said 'there's something missing,' and I transferred to Ohio State University, best move I ever made. There, my whole life changed again.
"I went over one day to the union and Woody Hayes, who was kind of as famous as Nick Saban is now, I spoke with him and he said 'you come on over to the stadium one day and we'll talk.' So I did, and he said 'you really have such a passion for the sport.' He said, 'keep your passion, come to every practice whether it's open or closed.' He couldn't have been nicer to me.
"So I'd forget about my classes and go to football practice every day. And when I graduated, I thought I was going to teach and then coach girls' sports. And then my father had a 50th birthday party and Charley Winner was there, he was the head coach of the Jets at the time. He was amazed at how much I knew and loved football ... he said, 'would you consider working for us?' That was it, the answer to my life, my dreams, anything. So that's how I began there.'
Hear more of Carberg's story in the video above, and the full interview in the Next Pats Podcast.