Callie Brownson, the First Female Position Coach

Author: Sonali Pathak


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Callie Brownson is making a way for all the female coaches in football. Do you know who is the highest-ranking football woman coach in NFL history? Cleveland Browns grabbed attention in all the Newspapers when she became the first woman to coach a position group during an NFL regular-season. Last year in December, Brownson replaced Drew Petzing to serve as the team's tight ends coach. The official announcement came on January 31 when the head coach Kevin Stefanski was hired. And, for the game-day promotion, she has officially become the highest-ranking female coach in the history of the league. 

 

What was the Journey to becoming the NFL coach like for Callie?

 

The coaching career for Callie began while she was in Mount Vernon High School— where she served as the assistant coach for about two years from 2015 to 2017. It started for Callie to become a part of the NFL in the year 2017 when she worked there as a scouting intern for the New York Jets. This temporary job for Callie Brownson proved to be a gamechanger to only help her realize that all of her is made for football. 

 

From her very childhood, Brownson loved football, and she became a part of the Alexandria Bucknell Tigers youth football team in an all-boys team. This was when she was in her home town Virginia & she thought that it would help her make a space for herself in the team but very soon she realized that the team did not have an option to induct girls into the team. And, that’s when she turned to softball— but there was something burning inside her. 

 

She simply loved the sports and her heart knew that from the very beginning. In the years ahead, Brownson spent eight seasons on the D.C. Divas roster, which was a professional team in the Women’s Football Alliance. She played safety, running back, and wide receiver through those eight seasons. Besides, Brownson has also won two gold medals in the International Federation of American Football Women’s World Championships in 2013 and 2017.

 

Callie Brownson Becoming the first full-time coach in Division 1 college football

 

It was in the summer of 2018 that she got this opportunity to serve as an intern at Dartmouth College. At the time, she did not know that this was going to be so BIG and there to stay with her— she assumed that the job was going to be for about two weeks. It was only on the last day of her inter-role that Buddy Teevens introduced her to the team as the new offensive quality control coach. And, that’s how she became NCAA Division 1 college football first-female coach. Teevens loved her work and because of that, he had also recommended her to Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott. And, nothing could stop McDermott from liking everything about this lady when they met at the NFL Women’s Careers. 

 

Later in the year 2019, she was recruited to the position of coaching intern for the Bills during the training camp— and her work earned her a position as an offensive assistant coach. The first thing Kevin Stefanski did after being inducted as the head coach in January 2020, he decided to create a position of chief of staff role, and according to him, no one else could be a better fit for this position than Brownson. However, Callie Brownson is not the only female to have coached in the NFL, there have been a couple of them since 2015 when Jennifer Welter became the first interim coach for the NFL. The Buffalo Bills also became a part of the crusade when they hired Kathryn Smith as a Special Teams Quality Control coach, later on making her the first full-time female coach.


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