Sunday will be a historic day for women on NFL sidelines in Cleveland.
For the first time in NFL history, there will be two female coaches on the sideline and a female official on the field when the Browns host the Washington Football team.
Jennifer King is in her first season on Washington’s staff, while Callie Brownson is the chief of staff for Browns first-year coach Kevin Stefanski. Sarah Thomas became the league’s first female official in 2015, has worked in the post-season and is now making more history.
A former college basketball coach, King first connected with Washington coach Ron Rivera when both were in North Carolina. She joined Rivera’s staff as an intern in 2018 with the Panthers, and when he took the job in Washington earlier this year, King came with him as an offensive assistant and full-year coaching intern — the first Black woman in league history.
Brownson was an all-around player in the Women’s Football Alliance before she was bitten by the coaching bug. She started at the high school level, wound up at Dartmouth and was hired by Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott, who gave her a full season internship in 2019.
‘I’m going to lean on her’
Stefanski promised he would have a diverse staff at his introductory news conference in January, and he hired Brownson just a few weeks later for the same position he held in 2006 for the Minnesota Vikings.
“Callie is uniquely situated where she can go interact with football ops or PR or the locker room or the equipment room,” he said a few months back. “She’s really the liaison to the rest of the building for me. I’m going to lean on her heavily and already have.”