John Dorsey says he’d consider a female head coach for the Browns

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On Wednesday, Browns G.M. John Dorsey listed three important factors for the team’s next head coach: “I would like to see a man of character. I would like to see a man who can lead young men. I would like to see a man who has high football acumen.”

He actually may not necessarily be looking for a man.

Asked specifically whether age will be a factor in the search, Dorsey said this:  “I just want the best possible head coach to move this thing forward regardless of age. It could be a woman, too. Do not look at me like that. I am serious. Who knows? We will look at everything is what I am trying to tell you all.”

On one hand, it’s great that Dorsey would publicly articulate a move that not long ago would have been inconceivable. But females are making inroads when it comes to coaching and officiating and in time (maybe a long time, but still in time) there will be enough female assistant coaches to necessarily result in one developing the skills and demonstrating the abilities necessary to run a team of her own.

When it comes to females in coaching, the college game will be an important proving ground. Given the NCAA’s abysmal record when it comes to minority hiring, however, it could be too much to expect the college game to give opportunities to deserving female candidates.

The Browns undoubtedly won’t be hiring a female during this cycle. Whether he intended it or not, however, Dorsey’s willingness to acknowledge the possibility could get more teams to think about hiring female assistant coaches — and it could inspire more females to get into football coaching.

There’s another factor to consider in this regard. From Kim Pegula in Buffalo to Dee Haslam in Cleveland to Amy Adams Strunk in Tennessee to Martha Firestone Ford in Detroit to Gayle Benson in New Orleans to, possibly in the future, Carlie Irsay-Gordon in Indianapolis to Brittany Bowlen in Denver to Jody Allen in Seattle, a growing number of NFL teams have female owners or co-owners. And if a female can own an NFL team, why can’t a female coach an NFL team?

64 responses to “John Dorsey says he’d consider a female head coach for the Browns

  1. The fact that he volunteered that soundbite leads me to believe it was purposefully done to get some (positive) attention. How forward-thinking the Browns are! Not like all those mean teams that only hire male head coaches.

    How long before the Rooney Rule is expanded to require one female interview before a hire is made?

  2. I don’t own a team. I have no idea how much work it actually takes. But I am sure that coaching a team is a lot more difficult. An owner can have others essentially do everything behind the scenes. Get advice and information every step of the way on every single matter. A coach has to make quick decisions and better know what they are doing. Owning a team should not be compared to coaching a team. This isn’t to bash women. I think Pegula does lots more than some owners. She’s an “active” owner if you will. But even if we are talking about men. These owners are not qualified to coach. It’s a false equivalency. I’m pretty sure I’d be a better coach than zygi wilf. I’m also 100% sure we’d both stink at it.

  3. Gee Mike…maybe because they never played football. At least in basketball women play a remotely similar game.

    Everything in life doesn’t get to be equitable for the sake of it.

  4. And if a female can own an NFL team, why can’t a female coach an NFL team?
    __________________

    Because female owners simply inherited their teams when their husbands died… Doesn’t mean they know a damn thing about the sport!

  5. Let’s see, zero college head coaches or coordinators, zero pro coordinators. Yeah, that will work. Can’t wait to see the list of female candidates.

  6. I’m sure they’ll hire someone who hasn’t proven themselves but have credentials because their team was successful despite their blandness.

  7. Let’s try to become a mildly relevant sports organization first.

    The Browns are the #1 reason we should have some type of Relegation in American Sports.

  8. So, seriously, how is the Browns hiring someone who’s completely un-qualified (a woman, because let’s be honest there are 0 female coaches at this point at any level of football) any worse than the coaches that they’ve hired recently, who have also been under qualified?

  9. “And if a female can own an NFL team, why can’t a female coach an NFL team?”

    If I inherited an airline could I fly a 747?

  10. It could be done but not by next year. It would take a special woman to command a locker room of Alpha males (heck it takes a special man to do it) but it could be done. First they need a woman who worked through the ranks first and that isn’t available right now.

  11. Let’s say the Browns actually do it and the new female head coach goes out and wins one game in two full seasons, 1-31. How much worse are the Browns? Factually, they are neither better or worse than before.

  12. I guess the Rooney Rule will be updated to include women in the future. Soon each team will have to interview a racial minority candidate AND a woman in their coaching searches… Because if they interview only a white woman and no black man, then that is problematic because no racial minority was considered. It must be white privilege. The whole process will be a total joke. It’s going to be problematic, as it already is.

  13. This is just silly. The game has already become less “tough guy” oriented. What, do we want a “kinder, gentler” NFL? Keep in mind that the 85 Bears already couldn’t play in this “new, enlightened” NFL without getting flagged and fined for virtually every hit they’d make. Come on, dudes. Get real!

  14. Most GM’s or owners would likely feel the same way ……. if only there were some experienced female coaches, assistant coaches, or coordinators to choose from. Probably not going to happen in the next 10 to 15 years.

  15. polksaladandy says:
    November 15, 2018 at 11:08 am

    The Rooney Mara rule?

    ________________________

    Great comment! What could be more appropriate

  16. You left out Katie Blackburn in Cincinnati. She will take over when her dad steps down. She has been second in command for years.

  17. ***Newsflash*** John Dorsey announces that he will expand his Coach search to beyond our solar system. “I don’t care if we have to go to Alpha Centari for my next coach”

  18. I hate discrimination. Everyone should have an equal chance. They shouldn’t have both men’s and women’s collegiate teams any more. They should just compete for the same roster spots. I believe girls can do the job just as good as boys. We should at least allow them to prove themselves.

  19. therealjr says: “Gee Mike…maybe because they never played football. At least in basketball women play a remotely similar game.

    Everything in life doesn’t get to be equitable for the sake of it.”
    ==================================

    Just because someone didn’t have the physical skillset to play the game doesn’t mean they don’t understand the X’s and O’s of football.

    Joe Gibbs was a bench warmer in HS football, yet was able to lead the Redskins to a couple of SBs as head coach. So it’s not about being equitable – it’s about hiring the best.

  20. Female? With what PRO coaching experience? I firmly believe women have no place in men’s sports (and men not in women’s). I am old school. The fact is unless they find some woman who has played fake pro football, there is none qualified.

  21. kcflake says:
    November 15, 2018 at 10:54 am
    Not being a jerk here, but is there even a qualified female candidate anywhere that has the coaching experience? I’m not aware of any.

    43 2 Rate This
    fin72 says:
    November 15, 2018 at 10:54 am
    And if a female can own an NFL team, why can’t a female coach an NFL team?
    __________________

    Because female owners simply inherited their teams when their husbands died… Doesn’t mean they know a damn thing about the sport!
    =============================================

    The same could be said about a lot of pro sport owners who know absolutely nothing about the sport or because they were born with a silver spoon in their mouth: Haslam, Irsay, Dan Snyder, Mark Davis, Jeb York, heck Trump killed off an entire pro football league.

  22. BuckyBadger says:
    November 15, 2018 at 11:18 am

    It could be done but not by next year. It would take a special woman to command a locker room of Alpha males (heck it takes a special man to do it) but it could be done. First they need a woman who worked through the ranks first and that isn’t available right now.

    ——————————————————————-

    I don’t see it working. But if it were to work, she would likely need to be an ex athlete who was at or near the top of her sport. When I’ve watched the newer reporters (last 5-10 years) on the NFL Network. Stacey Dales appears to have a better rapport and looks to get more respect from the players than most of her colleagues of similar experience do.

  23. “Gee Mike…maybe because they never played football. At least in basketball women play a remotely similar game.”
    _________________

    This always strikes me as the strangest of arguments. Are there people who sit at home watching the game saying to themselves “I just can’t fully understand this sport because I never played it”? Tons of coaches never played the sports they coach–certainly not at the highest levels. (Or if they did play it was literally decades before so basically irrelevant.)

  24. dickshotdogs says: “This PC world sucks.”
    ==========================================

    If Dorsey hired a woman (say former football player & LB coach Jennifer Welter) and goes on to win the Super Bowl, why would this world “suck”?

    The point is to hire the best for the job and win. Only an idiot would limit their search because they’re too scared of the fact that a woman might be better as a head coach.

  25. redlikethepig says:

    November 15, 2018 at 11:10 am

    “And if a female can own an NFL team, why can’t a female coach an NFL team?”

    If I inherited an airline could I fly a 747?

    ———————

    His point is that Virginia McCaskey and Martha Firestone have been flying their 747s for years, and doing a better job than some of the male “pilots” in the NFL.

  26. charliecharger says:
    November 15, 2018 at 11:48 am

    I hate discrimination. Everyone should have an equal chance. They shouldn’t have both men’s and women’s collegiate teams any more. They should just compete for the same roster spots. I believe girls can do the job just as good as boys. We should at least allow them to prove themselves.

    ————————————————————

    Awesome. Who we lining up to block Aaron Donald?

  27. Carroll Prescott says: “The fact is unless they find some woman who has played fake pro football, there is none qualified.”
    =============================

    – Belichick never played pro football (real or “fake”, whatever that means…)
    – Joe Gibbs never played pro or college football

    If Bill Belichick was a woman, you’re saying you would never hire her, just because she’s a female?!? The point is to hire the best person to help the team win. Settling for second best because you’re scared of a woman is just weak.

  28. granadafan says:
    November 15, 2018 at 11:58 am
    kcflake says:
    November 15, 2018 at 10:54 am
    Not being a jerk here, but is there even a qualified female candidate anywhere that has the coaching experience? I’m not aware of any.

    43 2 Rate This
    fin72 says:
    November 15, 2018 at 10:54 am
    And if a female can own an NFL team, why can’t a female coach an NFL team?
    __________________

    Because female owners simply inherited their teams when their husbands died… Doesn’t mean they know a damn thing about the sport!
    =============================================

    The same could be said about a lot of pro sport owners who know absolutely nothing about the sport or because they were born with a silver spoon in their mouth: Haslam, Irsay, Dan Snyder, Mark Davis, Jeb York, heck Trump killed off an entire pro football league.
    __________

    True, but those guys aren’t trying to be the head coach. A woman being a good owner has no bearing on whether a woman would be a good head coach. I’m not saying it can’t happen, but it’s incredibly unlikely.

  29. jeremycrowhurst says:
    November 15, 2018 at 12:04 pm
    redlikethepig says:

    November 15, 2018 at 11:10 am

    “And if a female can own an NFL team, why can’t a female coach an NFL team?”

    If I inherited an airline could I fly a 747?

    ———————

    His point is that Virginia McCaskey and Martha Firestone have been flying their 747s for years, and doing a better job than some of the male “pilots” in the NFL.
    _________

    Again, being a successful owner doesn’t mean you can be a successful head coach. It was a ridiculous statement and redlikethepig responded to it perfectly.

  30. It’s not discrimination, it’s common sense that’s not possible right now. All nfl coaches are either ex players who in their post playing days became low ranking coaches and worked their way up. The others were born under former coaches who spent their entire adult lives in low ranking coaching jobs and worked their way up. A person has to have lots of experience to know how to compete, and even more, to know how to command the respect of their players. Name one woman right who has that type of football experience? No offense to any woman, as they’re more than capable to do the job well once they’ve gained the obvious experience needed, but to my knowledge, that woman doesn’t exist yet.
    However the ghost of Georgia Frontiere might be a better owner than Jack Dorky.

    Now if we’re talking about being a head coach for an NBA team, I do think they’re some out there right now who could do that job well.

  31. The new Rooney Rule will be : Every team has to interview a minority candidate, a woman, and a gay coach. So I guess Wanda Sykes is the new Coach of the Cleveland Browns.

  32. Whether or not a woman can be a head coach seems like a really dumb question. People can do anything. Anyone who thinks brainpower is the issue needs to crawl back under the rock they came from.

    However, right now the talent pool is thin. There are what, 3 or 4 women who are assistant coaches on NFL teams? It would be nice to see more women become assistant coaches so they can move up the ranks.

  33. John Dorsey on the Browns’ vacancy: ‘This job is very attractive’

    John Dorsey on the Browns’ vacancy: “I’d hire a female Head Coach”

    John Dorsey’s Christmas wish – an attractive female with great football knowledge and coaching experience.

    John Dorsey’s reoccurring dream – Miss September in a bunny outfit holding a clipboard, wearing a headset, and telling her QB to run the Halley Berry play.

  34. The quote in question was after a reporter asked him about whether Bruce Arians was told old to do the job. His response was basically a “as long as they can do the job, I’ll consider them without prejudice”.

    He was basically telling the reporter, I’ll do the GM’ing and you do the reporting and not tell me who I should or shouldn’t consider but in a nice way.

  35. the Cleveland Browns are finally in good hands John Dorsey is an NFL general manager Cleveland hasn’t had any of those the last 20 years
    Last year Dorsey sat in the locker room after games, to see the character of the players on the team and he cut Kenny Britt
    Love it look at this year’s draft look at the Players he brought in in free agency things are finally looking up in Cleveland I chalk it up to the job that John Dorsey is doing we finally have a real front office I don’t care who the Browns get for the head coach as long as there’s a guy that John Dorsey wants

  36. Virginia Halas McCaskey…leave it to Florio to leave out the most recognizable female owner in league history. I’m surprised he didn’t try to fit Kap & Reid into the story somehow! Typical ball dropper

  37. >>And if a female can own an NFL team, why can’t a female coach an NFL team?

    Go ahead and hire a HC with no college or pro-football experience.
    See how that works out and let us know.

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