The world of sports in the U.S. is notoriously dominated by white men but that’s slowly changing. The Washington Football Team announced this morning that they hired Natalia Dorantes as coordinator of football operations. As the chief of staff she’ll be working with the coaching staff and football operations. The 26-year-old is the daughter of Mexican immigrants and previously worked as a recruiting communications coordinator for the Texas A&M football team. Dorantes is the first Latina and third woman to hold the role for the NFL. Out of 32 teams, 20 have a chief of staff though the titles vary.
“I embrace my culture & where my people came from,” she tweeted last year during Latinx Heritage Month. “PROUD to be a daughter of immigrants AND a Latina in football.”
I embrace my culture & where my people came from.
PROUD to be a daughter of immigrants AND a Latina in football 💃🏻🏈 https://t.co/lqfJToYl0m
— Natalia Dorantes (@naatalia_d) October 5, 2020
She joins Jennifer King on Washington’s staff, who became the NFL’s first Black female assistant postilion coach earlier this offseason. King and Dorantes are part of a surge in diverse hires by the Washington Football Team in the last 16 months that includes coach Ron Rivera. Callie Brownson, the Cleveland Browns’ chief of staff, and Sarah Hogan, the Atlanta Falcons’ coordinator of head coach operations, along with Dorantes are the only women in the league with similar lead roles. Dorantes landed the job after meeting Rivera during the 5th annual NFL Women’s Careers in Football Forum in February which reinforces the value of the event.
“What this [forum] does is it puts more than qualified people, sometimes overqualified people, in front of us,” Rivera said in the team’s announcement. “As you look at these women and you look at their accomplishments and you look what they’ve done and you look at the willingness to work for nothing to get themselves in front of people because they want the opportunity, I think that’s important, and that’s why I do it, and it’s important to me because I want to make sure I do it right.”
The @NFL Women’s Careers in Football Forum has helped develop a more diverse talent pipeline by connecting women with opportunities in Football Ops, 118 of which have emerged since 2017.
— NFL Football Operations (@NFLFootballOps) February 23, 2021
Dorantes was a social media intern for the Arizona Cardinals and Arizona State University before joining Texas A&M’s staff, initially as creative recruiting coordinator, then as football communications coordinator. She has also served as a social media content creator in the NFL.
Shoutout to adidas 🤗 pic.twitter.com/dDuKLJEUf6
— Natalia Dorantes (@naatalia_d) September 9, 2019
“I’m a very proud Latina, and that’s like the first thing I said,” Dorantes said in the team’s announcement. “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.”