Senior Bowl staff includes first female scout, Kathleen Wood

Shalise Manza YoungYahoo Sports Columnist
Yahoo Sports

The 71st Senior Bowl is six months away, but of course preparations for the weeklong event have to begin earlier than that.

On Wednesday, the game’s executive director, Jim Nagy, announced the scouting staff for the annual showcase, and it features two firsts, including the game’s first female scout.

Kathleen Wood to be southeast region scout

For the first time, there will be a female and former NFL player on the Senior Bowl's scouting staff. (Getty Images)
For the first time, there will be a female and former NFL player on the Senior Bowl's scouting staff. (Getty Images)

Kathleen Wood will serve as the southeast region scout. She has spent time with the Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles as part of the league’s Nunn-Wooten Scouting Fellowship and was chosen for the NFL Women’s Careers in Football Forum last year.

“Kathleen’s list of references included numerous NFL general managers and it did not take long (during the hiring process) to realize how passionate and knowledgeable she is about the game of football,” Nagy wrote in a statement announcing the new staff. “The Reese’s Senior Bowl is committed to diversity and inclusion and we hope Kathleen’s experience with us this season will help her reach her ultimate goal of becoming a full-time NFL scout.”

Private investigator to player investigator

According to a 2017 story by then-Bills reporter Mike Rodak of ESPN, Wood is a Philadelphia native whose father has been an Eagles season-ticket holder for decades.

Seeing clips from NFL Films also inspired her to follow the game at a young age.

She worked as a private investigator for 16 years, but sold her firm in 2015, intent on getting into scouting. She wrote a letter to NFL vice president of football operations Troy Vincent, and Vincent set Wood up with a meeting with Rod Graves, who at the time was the league’s VP of football administration.

She attended The Scouting Academy, which offers in-depth education on scouting, and was offered the fellowship with the Bills during training camp.

Coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane had Wood scout a position and present her reports to them.

“I just want to marry my investigative skills with my evaluation skills,” Wood said. “I spent a lifetime of fact-finding and sourcing information as a career, and I'm trying to bridge that into my evaluations on backgrounds and character.”

First former NFL player

Wood isn’t the only first for the Senior Bowl staff. Mike Young, who will serve as midlands regional scout, is the first former NFL player to work as a scout for the annual game.

Young, a linebacker who was undrafted out of Illinois, was with the Arizona Cardinals from 2001-04, playing in 22 games.

He also has been part of the Nunn-Wooten Fellowship program, interning with the New York Jets scouting department in 2018; Young also attended the Senior Bowl Scout School.

“One of our goals at the Reese’s Senior Bowl is to help educate and train former NFL players (in scouting) and making Mike part of our team is a good first step in accomplishing that,” Nagy said.

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