It must be difficult being a woman in a man’s world, at least for some. That doesn’t apply to Katie Hnida, however, who made history back in 2002 by becoming the first woman to play and score in a Division One college football game. Her first time on the field wasn’t just any ordinary football game either, it was actually the Las Vegas Bowl game where Hnida’s team, the New Mexico Lobo’s were playing the UCLA Bruins.
Coach Rocky Long called on Hnida to kick the extra point after the Lobo’s intercepted the ball and ran it in for a 55-yard touchdown. This was the first time a woman had stepped on the field of a Division One game so that in itself was a major achievement. Unfortunately, her nerves must’ve gotten the best of her because she kicked the ball extremely low and it was blocked by UCLA’s defensive line. She didn’t play anymore that game and UCLA came out on top 27-13. But that wasn’t the end of her college career, she had one more achievement on her list and that was to be the first woman to score a point in a Division One game. The following year she kicked two extra points, making them both, in a game against Texas State and by doing so she etched her name in the history books for many years to come.
Hnida had started her college career at the Universty of Colorado but then transferred to the Santa Barbara City College in 1999. Sometime along the way a video was made showing her kicking skills and it was that video that would get her the break of a lifetime. The University of New Mexico invited her to come and try out for the kicking position after they saw the video. It should be mentioned that there had been a couple females also played on a college football team such as Liz Heaston, and Ashley Martin, but that was in smaller AA divisions.