Update 2:20 p.m. EST Nov. 18: Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey have each released statements in response to a report that the NFL team was interested in interviewing her.
Rice said she wasn’t ready to coach, but said she wouldn’t mind calling a play for the team.
“I love my Browns -- and I know they will hire an experienced coach to take us to the next level.
“On a more serious note, I do hope that the NFL will start to bring women into the coaching profession as position coaches and eventually coordinators and head coaches. 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.
“BTW -- 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.’”
Dorsey said Rice was not discussed when putting together coaching candidates.
“Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is a great leader, possesses the highest possible character and also happens to be a Browns fan,” he said in a statement. “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.”
ESPN reported the news Sunday, citing an unnamed NFL source. The outlet also reported that John Dorsey, the Browns’ general manager, said last week that the team was open to hiring a woman as head coach, ESPN reported.
Rice, who grew up in Alabama, is a longtime Browns fan, and has appeared in the team’s jersey in NFL ads. There have been rumors before about her becoming league commissioner.
From 2013 to 2016, Rice was one of the first members of the College Football Playoff selection committee.
Rice served in President George W. Bush’s administration, first as national security advisor from 2001 until 2005, and then as secretary of state from 2005 until 2009.
In 2012, Rice became one of the first two women admitted to Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters Tournament.
If the interview happens, Rice would be the first woman to interview for head coach in the NFL.