Janice Pettyjohn is a game-changer for more reasons than one. The soon-to-be 23-year-old has made history by becoming the first woman hired as a full-time employee for Howard University’s football department.
A New Jersey native, Pettyjohn graduated from Howard in 2021 from the university’s Sports Medicine Residency program with a minor in sociology.
Her responsibilities include being the assistant director of football operations and the director of on-campus recruiting, according to the Burlington County Times. Notably, the latter role was created specifically for Pettyjohn to fulfill.
Her employment at the university not only serves as a feat for other women who hope to break into the coaching and recruiting side of football, a male-dominated sport. It also showcases that it’s possible to achieve major goals even at a young age.
“I’m super grateful for this position,” Pettyjohn told the Burlington County Times. “Being 22 years old and getting a full-time position at Howard fresh out of college — its rare. Coach [Larry Scott] really saw the potential in me.”
“‘I’m 22, about to be 23, doing what some 30 year old’s are just getting started doing,” she said. “You’re finding coaches on my staff who have coached in the NFL, who have played in the NFL. Coaches, who I’m not going to necessarily say ages, but they’re over the age of 40 and 50, who have been in this game for quite some time. So it was definitely a matter of building trust.”
After reading this story, we knew we had to make sure to send a congrats to Pettyjohn and wish her success on her new journey!