CLEVELAND, OH — The Cleveland Browns say they haven’t talked about hiring Condoleezza Rice as their next head coach, and the former Secretary of State says she’s not ready to coach either — but she might be opening to calling a play or two. ESPN had reported Sunday the team was interested in interviewing Rice, a lifelong Browns fan, for the position following the firing of Hue Jackson.
John Dorsey, the team’s general manager, previously said he would consider hiring a woman for the gig. Should it happen, Rice would become the first woman to interview for an NFL head coaching job, ESPN reported.
But Dorsey told media outlets in a statement Sunday the team has not talked about Rice as a head coaching candidate. The duo did meet this season, however.
“Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is a great leader, possesses the highest possible character and also happens to be a Browns fan,” said Dorsey. “I have the utmost respect and admiration for all she’s accomplished and was honored to meet her for the first time earlier this season. Our coaching search will be through and deliberate, but we are still in the process of composing the list of candidates and Secretary Rice has not been discussed.”
Rice said she hopes more women will be hired in coaching positions even if they don’t actually play football, and that it’s time to develop a pool of experienced female coaches. She dispelled any notions that she could be the team’s next head coach.
“I’m not ready to coach but I would like to call a play or two next season if the Browns need ideas,” said Rice. “And at no time will I call for a “prevent defense.”
Even if Rice doesn’t get the head coaching job, the ESPN report said she could land a job elsewhere in the organization or be brought on as a consultant.
Rice served as Secretary of State under President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2009. She also served as a member of the College Football Playoff selection committee from 2013 to 2016.
Rice is the daughter of a football coach and was a student of the game, according to Forbes. She and her father studied offenses and defenses. They would kick off each NFL season by scrutinizing Street & Smith’s pro football report.
Click here to read the full report by ESPN.
Statement from #Browns GM John Dorsey regarding Condoleezza Rice pic.twitter.com/XS4FyNYD7x
— Nate Ulrich (@ByNateUlrich) November 18, 2018
Photo credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images