GOSHEN, Ind. (WNDU) - Dr. Jewel Lehman, a professor of kinesiology at Goshen College, knows who she’s cheering on in the Super Bowl: the San Francisco 49ers and her former student Katie Sowers.
"I do remember her drive to succeed and her passion," Lehman said. "She’s just fun to be around. It’s amazing because this really is a remarkable moment in history by an extraordinary person, an extraordinary coach.”
Sowers is the first female and openly gay person to coach in the big game. However, Lehman says Sowers is known for so much more.
"Katie was a strong student," Lehman said. "She was an amazing athlete. She has a strong drive. She is very articulate, and all of those things came through when she was here at Goshen College."
Lehman knew Sowers was destined for great things after seeing her dedication and precision in the classroom.
“The one thing I remember was when she was in the applied bio-mechanics class and she was analyzing the javelin throw," Lehman said. "Her throw was right on target. She taught us the optimal angle of release is 34 to 36 degrees and hers was right on, 35.3. She was able to show us that with the tools in applied biomechanics.”
Sowers clearly knows what she is talking about. She holds the school's record in the javelin throw.
That attention to detail has quickly caught on for the 49ers and is a big reason why she’s coaching at the highest level.
"I thought she would go on to be a successful coach somewhere," Lehman said. "That is not a surprise to me. If you would have asked me if she would be coaching in the NFL, I would say that might be a long shot."
Lehman isn’t just proud Sowers is representing Goshen College but how she’s inspiring the next generation.
"We’re just super proud of Katie, of all of her accomplishments, because little girls can see coaching football and being a part of the NFL is a possibility, and that’s amazing," Lehman said.