In The Know

Washington Football Team hires NFL’s first Latina chief of staff

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The Washington Football Team on Wednesday announced that it will be bringing on Natalia Dorantes as head coach Ron Rivera’s chief of staff, the first Latina in the NFL to hold the role. 

Dorantes, 26, will serve as the team’s coordinator of football programs, according to a post on the team’s website

Rivera said in a statement that Dorantes, who previously worked as a recruiting communications coordinator for the Texas A&M football team, is the best person for the job, which he said requires trust, organization and confidence.

“This is kind of new ground for us because I’ve never had a ‘chief of staff,'” Rivera said in a statement. “I needed a person that’s gonna be able to interact with coaches, with coordinators and may have to say, quite honestly, ‘No, I don’t think Coach wants that,’ or ‘No, Coach doesn’t want that.’”

“The one thing I want her to understand is that she’s going to have my voice, and I trust her,” he added. 

Rivera, who joined the Washington Football Team last January, said that after receiving his cancer diagnosis last year, he needed to delegate certain responsibilities, including calendar organization and planning, to other members of the staff. 

After he was declared cancer-free in January following weeks of treatment, Rivera said he believed the team would benefit from having a full-time chief of staff to handle these tasks. 

According to the team’s Wednesday post, Dorantes first got into contact with Rivera in February during the virtual NFL Women’s Careers in Football Forum, when she sent a message thanking him for participating in the event. 

“I’m a very proud Latina, and that’s like the first thing I said,” Dorantes said. “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.”

The addition of Dorantes follows the team’s announcement in January that it would be naming Jennifer King as its assistant running backs coach, making her the NFL’s first Black female assistant position coach. 

Rivera in a statement at the time said King was “deserving” of the role after serving as a coaching intern in the 2020 season. 

“She got the chance to experience not only the in-season work that goes into being a full-time coach in this league but also the countless hours that are spent preparing in the offseason as well,” he said. “The sky is truly the limit for her.”

The team has been fighting negative headlines on a variety of topics in recent years, ranging from its former name to sexual harassment allegations against owner Dan Snyder.

Tags American football Dan Snyder diversity and inclusion Latina minority NFL Ron Rivera texas a&m Washington Football Team

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