Sports | November 29, 2020 3:37 pm

Callie Brownson of the Cleveland Browns is the NFL’s First Female Interim Position Coach

Another step forward for both Brownson and the league

Cleveland Browns v Jacksonville Jaguars
Tight ends coach Callie Brownson looks on during their game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field on November 29, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida.
Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

It’s been a weekend for glass ceilings to be broken in the world of football. The latest example of this came in Sunday’s Cleveland Browns-Jacksonville Jaguars game. Cleveland tight ends coach Drew Petzing isn’t traveling with the team this week, as his wife just gave birth to their first child. In his absence, Browns Chief of Staff Callie Brownson served as the interim tight ends coach. She’s the first woman to do so in NFL history.

A Washington Post article on Brownson from earlier this year notes that her role on the Browns is similar to a position Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski held from 2006 to 2008 for the Minnesota Vikings. Stefanski spoke highly of Brownson, saying that “Callie is uniquely situated where she can go interact with football ops or PR or the locker room or the equipment room.”

“She’s really the liaison to the rest of the building for me,” he added. “I’m going to lean on her heavily and already have.” Brownson’s interim role today seems like an additional vote of confidence from Stefanski. Before her current position, she held internships with the Bills and Jets, and was part of Dartmouth’s coaching staff. She also played for the D.C. Divas of the Women’s Football Alliance from 2010 to 2017.

In an interview for WKYC earlier this year, Brownson spoke about her own coaching experience. “It’s very easy to gain the trust of your fellow players and your fellow coaches if you’re somebody who can help the team win,” she said. With the Browns’ season so far looking very strong, Brownson looks to be doing exactly that.