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?