Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey said the franchise would consider all qualified candidates – including women – to fill its vacant head coach position.
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“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,” Dorsey told reporters on Wednesday, according to Pro Football Talk. “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.”
The Browns have been without a permanent head coach since firing Hue Jackson earlier this season. Gregg Williams, the Browns’ defensive coordinator, is currently serving as interim head coach.
While the NFL has never had a female head coach, the league has prioritized training and placing women in on-field roles in recent years. In 2016, the NFL appointed Sam Rapoport to serve as its director of football development, tasked with identifying women who were qualified to hold on-field positions such as coaches, officials, scouts and trainers.
Former women’s professional football player Jen Welter became the first woman to hold an NFL coaching position in 2015, joining the Arizona Cardinals’ staff as a preseason intern. Several other women have since joined NFL staffs, including Kelsey Martinez with the Oakland Raiders, Katie Sowers with the San Francisco 49ers and Kathryn Smith with the Buffalo Bills.