Cleveland Browns General Manager John Dorsey wants to conduct a wide-ranging search for the team's next head coach and that includes the possibility of interviewing women for the position.
Dorsey is even interested in interviewing someone with no experience: Condoleezza Rice.
That's right. In the day's most eye-popping NFL news, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the Browns would like to make the former U.S. secretary of state and national security adviser the first woman to interview for an NFL head coaching position.
Talk about being overqualified. Admittedly, it seems unlikely that we'll see Rice wearing a headset on the sideline and drawing up Xs and Os next season – her contribution more likely would be ideas about leadership and organization, both areas in which the Browns could improve. Despite growing up in Alabama, Rice, 64, has been a lifelong Browns fan who has long been as comfortable in sports as she is in politics and academia. She has appeared in NFL merchandise ads wearing Browns jerseys and her name has been often mentioned as a candidate for NFL commissioner. Her sports interests extend beyond football, though. She was one of the first two women admitted to membership at the Augusta National Golf Club in 2012 and she recently led the College Basketball Commission, formed in response to that sport's corruption scandal. She also was one of the first members of the College Football Playoff selection committee, holding a seat from 2013-16.
As for her actual qualifications, "she's an amazing person," an unnamed source told Schefter.
Still, it's unclear just when we'll see a woman coaching a men's team at the pro level. Rex Ryan hired Kathryn Smith as a quality control assistant when he was the head coach of the Buffalo Bills, the San Francisco 49ers have Katie Sowers as an offensive assistant and Kelsey Martinez is on the Oakland Raiders' strength staff. In the NBA, Becky Hammon broke through as an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs in 2014 and has since been followed by Nancy Lieberman (Sacramento Kings), Jenny Boucek (Dallas Mavericks) and Kristi Toliver (Washington Wizards).
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