This summer, Buddy Teevens oversaw a new women’s football clinic at the Manning Passing Academy and figured it would be a good idea to hire some women to help.
It was an eye-opening experience for the Dartmouth coach.
“I discovered that there are likely hundreds of females coaching at the Pop Warner level,” he said.
Teevens walked away so impressed with his summer hires that he has brought two of them aboard his staff. Chenell Tillman-Brooks and Callie Brownson will work as interns during training camp for the Big Green.
“This coaching internship opportunity at Dartmouth is everything right now,” Tillman-Brooks said in a statement. “The chance to learn under coach Teevens and his staff changes the look of the game for anyone who gets the opportunity to do so, and I am grateful for it.”
It is rare to see females working the sideline in the sport’s upper reaches.
Jen Welter served as an Arizona Cardinals assistant during the 2015 preseason and Kathryn Smith handled special teams quality control for the Buffalo Bills in 2016. Last summer, the San Francisco 49ers added Katie Sowers to their staff for the 2017-18 season.
“It’s important for all to know that dreams are achieved by first finding someone who sees your worth and value, regardless of your gender, and takes the necessary steps to clear a path, even on the path less traveled,” Sowers wrote on social media at the time. “Those people are hard to find.”
At the college level, Bryant University has Sue Lizotte as a graduate assistant and Stanford previously had a female intern.
Teevens, whose career includes stints with Stanford and Tulane, spoke with his superiors about creating an internship for women and recalls they were “very much behind the idea.”
Because of NCAA limits on staff size, Tillman-Brooks and Brownson will not be allowed to work directly with Dartmouth players on the field but, as quality control assistants, can help organize drills and participate in a range of team meetings and personnel discussions.
Tillman-Brooks has played and coached in women’s professional football since 2000. Brownson has been an assistant at the high school level and spent last summer as a scouting intern with the New York Jets.
“The Dartmouth program has proven dedicated to the progression of the game,” Brownson said. “I look forward to working with this incredible staff.”
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