You might say Tiffany Matthews wears a lot of hats.
Matthews is a senior instructor at the Alexandria Fire Department’s academy, training the city’s freshest recruits how to run into burning buildings and save lives. In her off-duty hours, though, she’s the founding owner of the Washington Prodigy women’s pro-football team. In fact, she’s been involved in professional football just as long as she’s been with AFD — 19 years.
An Alexandria native, Matthews joined the U.S. Army after graduating in 1998 from T.C. Williams High School, where she played varsity basketball. Watching Sunday football was a special event for her family, she said, and her interest in the game started by watching her brother play on the George Washington Middle School football team. The team’s coach was impressed enough to make her his assistant.
“I’d be watching my brother playing and I was just observing to the point where I was calling out plays,” Matthews recalled. “The coach noticed and asked me if I wanted to hold his clipboard…. Once I had that clipboard, I was kind of motivated on the sideline.”
Matthews, now 43, was a U.S. Army private stationed in Germany when she started playing flag football. In 2004, after being discharged, she started working as an Alexandria firefighter. That same year she was also recruited as a running back for the D.C. Divas.
The season runs every year from April to June, In 2012, she broke away from the Divas to found the Washington Prodigy. She had just 14 athletes, including herself as a player/owner/head coach. Now the team is one of 16 teams in the Women’s National Football Conference (WNFC). She stopped playing in 2018, and the team now boasts 40 players in the six-game season, which runs from April to June. Home games are played at Anacostia High School in D.C., and as far away as Texas, Florida and Tennessee.
None of the players are paid, and Matthews says she wants the WNFC to have the same name recognition and popularity as the Women’s National Basketball Association.
“I think we deserve it,” she said. “The coaches plan and meet weekly, and the players come to practice two or three times a week.”
She also said she’s on-board with the WNFC incorporating flag football into its offerings.
“The league is going in a great direction,” Matthews said. “And I think they do a very good job of making sure we’re (team owners are) on the same page by bringing in large endorsements and sponsorships like Adidas, and Dick’s Sporting Goods.”
Matthews plans on retiring from the fire department in six years, after which she says she will focus on the team.
If asked, Matthews describes herself as a firefighter first, and a pro-sports team owner second.
“It depends on the environment,” she said “I’m a firefighter. That’s pretty much my response, unless I’m in a sporting environment and they already kind of know that I’m involved with footballers in some sort of fashion.”
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About Latinas Leading Tomorrow (LLT): Latinas Leading Tomorrow is a dynamic 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering young Latina women through education, mentorship, and leadership development. We are committed to fostering a community of future leaders who will make a significant impact to the community.
Job Description: We are seeking a passionate and dedicated Part-time Executive Director to lead our organization into its next phase of growth and impact. The ideal candidate will be a visionary leader who can oversee day-to-day operations, drive fundraising efforts, and cultivate relationships with stakeholders. This is a 1099 position; Remote position with ability to attend DMV events; 8-10 hours a week; $35-40/per hour.
Get ready to Shake, Rattle and Roll with this one-of-a-kind, high-octane rockabilly concert experience! Rockabilly Rumble is the all-new, musical experience celebrating the southern rock music that exploded on the scene in the 1950s. Organized by Alexandria City High School Alum and pro-musician Sam C. Jones, this band of world-class performers will have you dancing in your Blue Suede Shoes all night long with songs made famous by Bo Ridley, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and more. Relive their most popular hits, along with some forgotten gems. “Rockabilly Rumble” is a dance-worthy, foot stomping evening you’ll never forget!
This show is 21+ only.
YOU MUST HAVE A VALID PHYSICAL ID. A PICTURE OF YOUR ID IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.