U.K. based player & coach Phoebe Schecter settling into Bills defensive coaching internship

Posted Aug 8, 2017

Bills defensive coaching intern, and U.K. based football player and coach, Phoebe Schecter, explains her journey to the gridiron.

She’s one of the few women to ever gain coaching experience in the National Football League, but her first introduction to the sport was only about five years ago. It wasn’t until Phoebe Schecter, one of the Bills coaching interns for training camp this year, moved overseas that she developed a love for the game.

 “I moved over to England about five years ago, and I’d seen an ad on Facebook to come try out for American football, and I thought it would be a really good way to meet people and get a bit of American culture in,” Schecter said. “I went to the try outs, and absolutely fell in love. I’ve never looked back since.”

 The 26-year-old Connecticut native, whose previous sport of choice was horseback riding, now plays and coaches for both men’s and women’s teams in the U.K. To the surprise of many, the petite Schecter plays linebacker.

“I’m just under 5’4”, and just about 140 pounds, so it doesn’t seem like I should be out there running around hitting people. But it’s probably one of my favorite parts of football,” she said.  

Schecter participated in the inaugural NFL Women’s Careers in Football Forum earlier this year, where she met Bills Owner Kim Pegula. The meeting led to Pegula hiring her for a coaching internship through the Bill Walsh Fellowship, which is designed to expose talented minority coaching candidates to the NFL during summer training camps. Very few teams around the league have previously extended these opportunities to female coaches.


  “I still don’t really believe it, to be honest with you,” Schecter said. “I know this is such an amazing opportunity, and I want to do the best I can for other women out there. Especially when you’re at this level, it’s all about increasing by that one percent. Maybe a woman’s aspect or what someone does helps with that one percent, then you’re going to be that much more competitive, and you get down to those fine lines. Especially at this level.”

 A typical day at camp for Schecter involves participating in team meetings, breaking down film, and patrolling the sidelines at practices with Defensive Coordinator Leslie Fraizer, Defensive Backs Coach Gill Byrd, and Linebackers Coach Bob Babich.       

  “It’s just great to see how they’re such a team within themselves, and Leslie, the way his mind words as a D.C. is just awesome to pick apart,” Schechter said of her new defensive mentors. Her experience so far as helped further inspire her goal of making a career as a football coach.

“I don’t mind at what level. Obviously, NFL is always the dream, but this has been a great learning experience for me, and I have so much to take away from this,” Schecter said. “If I could get a job coaching, whether it’s high school or college, I just want to be involved in the sport and helping develop players as much as possible.”