From Saskatchewan to Seattle, Amanda Rull has been on quite a journey and her dream has come true in the middle.
“It’s my dream to work in the NFL,” Ruller told reporters during Seattle Seahawks practice on Tuesday.
Ruller is one of the Seahawks coaches added to the team as part of the NFL’s Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship along with former NFL players Akeem Dent and Jonathan Saxon.
After playing running back for Team Canada and the Legends Football League, Ruller didn’t hesitate to help the backs practice on the field.
But the 34-year-old really shows herself at her best when it comes to setting an example for women to follow.
“I want to be that driving force so more women think, ‘I can do this. I can make this a career,'” Ruller said of the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta.
Ruller is the first woman to work for Seattle on the scholarship. Her time in Seattle comes after being one of nine women in the Canadian Football League’s Women in Football program earlier this year and working for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
It’s part of an odyssey that began with her watching Roughriders games as a child. There she asked her father if women could play soccer.
“He said you can do anything the boys can do,” Ruller said of Seahawks.com’s John Boyle. “And from there I went out and said, ‘Can I play football? Can I play flag football?’ And I kept being told, ‘No, you can’t do that. No, you can’t do that. You can’t even volunteer to coach football.'”
It hasn’t stopped Ruller, however, who has continued on with her journey despite an initial “no” she was given.
However, Ruller’s Odyssey wasn’t just a straight shot from Saskatchewan to Seattle. She had a key stop in Indianapolis at the NFL Scouting Combine earlier this year. There she made contacts and passed on her CV to hopeful employers.
It helped her settle into Seattle.
So far she’s enjoying her new surroundings and being welcomed into the male dominated environment.
“Every single player and coach and everyone here has welcomed me,” she said. “And I want to post this because a lot of people are asking me this question and I want to answer it. I felt so welcome and was accepted into this organization for a reason – to help these guys. A lot These guys said they are not ready for women to rise in this industry and maybe that’s because of the media but these men have been learning from women all their lives be they moms, teachers, sisters, grandmothers. And me. I’m just going to be part of that journey for them now.”
Ruller dreamed, she played, she worked, she studied and she is trained.
The journey is hardly over, however, as there is still a quest to be completed – not just for her, but for any other woman she wishes to help along the way.
“For me, one of my jobs is to help young girls and women feel more comfortable in football,” said Ruller. “Because when I started, I wasn’t comfortable. I didn’t understand why I didn’t belong. I didn’t understand why people kept telling me, no, I can’t be in this industry. I said, ‘Look at me Watch me move forward Watch me make something out of this for me.” And I want everyone who starts out in football, whether it’s media, coaches, staff, coaches, to feel like they’re going to be here belong that he’s worth it. You can see an opportunity. I never saw that growing up. So I want to be that driving force for more women to believe that I can do that. I can make a career out of it make.”