Report: Alabama native Condoleezza Rice could be interviewed in Browns’ head coach search
According to a report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Cleveland Browns want to interview Alabama native and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for their vacant head-coaching job.
Rice would be the first woman in history to be interviewed for an NFL head-coaching job if the Browns move forward with their interest.
ESPN noted that, “Rice, 64, is a lifelong Browns fan, a love she got from watching Cleveland’s games with her father at their home in Birmingham, Alabama. Rice has been featured in a Browns jersey in NFL ads, and there has been speculation that she even could become commissioner of the NFL.”
The Browns’ GM, John Dorsey, seemed to throw water on the idea of Rice being under consideration, even though it has been speculated that the team’s ownership, rather than the team’s management, is behind the Rice interest.
Statement from GM John Dorsey: pic.twitter.com/aQExOzX0ge
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) November 18, 2018
An interview, if it happens, would certainly not guarantee that the Browns will hire Rice, but Schefter reported that the team is interested in talking to her about the job and seeing what she could bring to the position and the organization.
“She’s an amazing person,” one team source told ESPN.
The interview process could lead to Rice becoming more involved in the organization in an official capacity or as a consultant, rather than being hired as head coach.
In a Facebook post, Rice responded to the report, expressing her love for the organization but emphasizing that she believes experience matters in coaching. Rice also called for women to be able to develop that experience in coaching at high levels of football.
“I love my Browns — and I know they will hire an experienced coach to take us to the next level,” Rice said.
She continued, “On a more serious note, I do hope that the NFL will start to bring women into the coaching profession as position coaches and eventually coordinators and head coaches. One doesn’t have to play the game to understand it and motivate players. But experience counts — and it is time to develop a pool of experienced women coaches.”
Her conclusion seemed to take her out of the head coaching mix for now, but questions will persist about whether she will join the Browns in a different leadership role, perhaps in its management structure or as a consultant.
“BTW — I’m not ready to coach but I would like to call a play or two next season if the Browns need ideas! And at no time will I call for a ‘prevent defense,'” Rice added.
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn