During the NFL’s Fifth Annual Women’s Careers in Football Forum back in February, a common theme surfaced: Be proactive. Bruce Arians expressed frustration that he had not received a single email from this group of aspiring women or otherwise. Bill Belichick and Mike Vrabel shared their contact information with the participants.
One of the participants, 26-year-old Natalia Dorantes, took these open invitations to heart. Dorantes, a former recruiting communications coordinator at Texas A&M, DMed Washington head coach Ron Rivera. She wasn’t looking for a job; as a Latina she simply wanted to connect with a coach she admired.
“I’m a very proud Latina, and that’s like the first thing I said,” Dorantes told the Washington Football Team’s website. “I was like, ‘As another Hispanic, I think it’s great that you’re in football because there’s not many of us, so thank you for that and thank you for being on the forum. It shows a lot that you’re just here supporting us.”
It turns out that Dorantes had also been on Rivera’s radar. According to The Athletic’s Rhiannon Walker, NFL agent Mike McCartney had already told Rivera about Dorantes after being impressed with her organization and overall body of work at A&M.
After further conversations that culminated with an in person interview at the team’s headquarters in Ashburn, VA, Rivera and Washington announced Wednesday that Dorantes was being hired as the team’s coordinator of football programs.
Dorantes will essentially serve as Rivera’s right-hand woman, a robust, multi-faceted job in which she’ll be the point person for coaches and other football operations managers. She’ll coordinate logistics and operations, as well as delve into public relations and other aspects of making a football team run smoothly. Simply put, she’s there to make Rivera’s job easier.
Dorantes joins Cleveland’s Callie Brownson and Atlanta’s Sarah Hogan as the only women to hold a chief of staff type position. She becomes the first Latina to serve in this role.