Lori Locust has been on the sidelines for nine seasons as an assistant football coach at Susquehanna Township (Harrisburg, Pa.) High.
In a few weeks, she will be seeing what the NFL has to offer.
The Baltimore Ravens recently invited Locust and two other women involved in football to learn from other coaches and members of the analytics team.
As Locust told WHTM, she didn’t get involved with football until she was nearly 40, when she made Harrisburg’s women’s team. After an injury took her off the field, she turned to coaching. In addition to Susquehanna, she has coached multiple semi-pro teams. She also currently works for the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks of the National Arena League as a defensive assistant and co-special teams coordinator.
“If you’re knowledgeable, if you’re credible, if you really want to help them get better – I think I’ve heard a lot of players say it doesn’t matter then who you are – they’re going to respond to you,” Locust told WHTM.
The internship is part of a diversity fellowship. The Ravens are also bringing in Waynesboro (Pa.) Area assistant coach Erica Vinson-Ondeckon and recent Bryant University (R.I.) graduate Elena Grigelevich to study with the analytics team.
“These are three coaches that are pioneering at their level – high school level, college level and professional level – that are going to come out and work with us and intern for us,” Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said recently. “I’m fired up about it. I had a chance to get to know them just a little bit, and they’re sharp and very knowledgeable.”
Locust told WHTM she is looking forward to the opportunity while also knowing that there will always be critics.
“I’ve learned over the years that I can’t change people’s perceptions, and I’m not really out to do that,” said Locust, who will spend from mid-July to late August with the team. “I just want to coach. So, I’m keeping my eyes straight forward and whatever they have to say, it’s on them.”