“I’m not afraid of anything, so I just did it.''
Natalia Dorantes has been hired by the Washington Football Team to serve as coach Ron Rivera's coordinator of football programs role in the organization, the 26-year-old Latina marking a series of firsts in this capacity in the NFL and continuing the WFT's series of progressive hires.
“This is kind of new ground for us, because I’ve never had a quote-unquote chief of staff,” Rivera said, via Ben Standig of The Athletic. “I needed a person that is going to 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.’ Because the one thing that I want her to understand is that she’s going to have my voice. And I trust her.''
Dorantes most recently worked as a recruiting coordinator at Texas A&M, and recently made contact with Rivera during the NFL’s annual women’s forum.
“I introduced myself,'' she said, "and I’m a very proud Latina, and that’s the first thing I said. ‘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 here supporting us.’
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Dorantes will work alongside Rivera on scheduling and planning and will coordinate draft, free-agent and scouting meetings. She is an addition to a notable list of recent hires by the WFT, including Rivera as a minority coaching hire, Jason Wright as the first Black team president in the NFL, Julie Donaldson, the senior vice president and face of the team's media properties, Martin Mayhew, a Black general manager, and assistant coach, and Jennifer King, a Black assistant coach.
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