Condoleezza Rice Declines Cleveland Browns Coaching Gig But Encourages Hiring Of Women Coaches

Condoleezza Rice walks alongside a couple of college football players.
Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

Condoleezza Rice was pleased to hear that the Cleveland Browns may have been considering her as a candidate for the head coaching position currently being held by interim coach Freddie Kitchens, over the weekend. Unfortunately, it just isn’t a job that the former U.S. Secretary of State could see herself accepting, although she’d love nothing more than to see the role filled by a woman at some point in the not so distant future.

Hours after ESPN‘s Adam Schefter reported that team owner John Dorsey allegedly had Rice in mind to lead the Browns on the field in 2019, the ex-Bush administration cabinet official humbly declined any possibility of her taking over the struggling organization. In a post that she published to Facebook ahead of Week 11’s early slate of games, Rice floated the idea of perhaps being brought on to pitch her advise on a play or two. But in stressing the importance of having the play-calling experience necessary to cover all of the bases on the sidelines, she said she’s more so looking forward to seeing who the next man or woman up will be, according to TMZ.

Ideally, it would be great if the choice indeed winds up being someone of her own sex, Rice said. However, if it is presently determined that the most qualified candidates happen to be men, then it is her opinion that the league ought to begin grooming women so that they may be able to build resumes strong enough to give them a fighting chance of closing the gender gap. Rice added that she doesn’t see why a candidate would necessarily need to have played the sport, and with that being the case, she visualizes women raising up the ranks to become coordinators and team heads should they be afforded the opportunities.

Schefter’s reporting on a possible Condoleezza Rice hiring came days after Sporting News quoted Dorsey as stating that he is open to tapping whoever may have the skill set and football IQ to turn the franchise’s fortunes around, regardless of their age or gender. However, Dorsey has since come forward to debunk the news and to clarify that while he holds Rice in high regard, she was never on his radar to replace Hue Jackson.

“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 thorough and deliberate, but we are still in the process of composing the list of candidates and Secretary Rice has not been discussed,” Dorsey wrote in a statement that was later released by the team’s front office.