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Cleveland Browns deny considering Condoleezza Rice as their next head coach

Former US Secretary of State would be the first woman to interview for an NFL head coaching position.

Rice: Cleveland Browns fan.
Rice: Cleveland Browns fan.
Image: Ben Margot

CONDOLEEZZA RICE HAS not been discussed as an interview candidate by the Cleveland Browns for their vacant head coaching job, the team said on Sunday.

ESPN reported that the team planned to make her the first woman to interview for an NFL head coaching position.

Rice, in a posting on her Facebook page, said she is not ready to coach an NFL club but wants to see the NFL bring women into greater coaching roles and wouldn’t mind calling a couple of plays next season if needed.

“I love my Browns — and I know they will hire an experienced coach to take us to the next level,” she wrote.

Rice is already a sports pioneer as one of the first two women, and the first African-American woman, named as members of Augusta National Golf Club, which hosts the Masters tournament every April.

But Browns general manager John Dorsey ended any notion that Rice, a Browns fan since childhood, was set to make NFL history as well.

“Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is a great leader, possesses the highest possible character and also happens to be a Browns fan,” Dorsey said.

“I have the utmost respect and admiration for all she has accomplished and was honoured to meet her for the first time earlier this season.

“Our coaching search will be thorough and deliberate, but we are still in the process of composing the list of candidates and Secretary Rice has not been discussed.”

The Browns fired coach Hue Jackson last month after a 2-5-1 start to the season.

Rice summed up her love for the team and readiness for coaching by saying: “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’” — one where defenders yield territory to avoid surrendering a big play in the hope of running out the clock with the lead.

“I do hope that the NFL will start to bring women into the coaching profession as position coaches and eventually coordinators and head coaches,” Rice wrote.

“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.”

© – AFP, 2018 

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