The Washington Football Team made history Wednesday. The franchise announced they have hired Natalia Dorantes as coordinator of football programs; she becomes the first Latina ever in that NFL role.
Dorantes will essentially serve as the internal liaison for coach Ron Rivera, who described Dorantes' position as a "chief of staff" role.
"This is kind of new ground for us because I've never had a 'chief of staff,'" Rivera told Washington's official website. "So 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,' you know what I mean? Because the one thing I want her to understand is that she's going to have my voice, and I trust her."
Dorantes met Rivera during February's NFL Women's Careers in Football Forum. She said she spoke proudly of her heritage during their first conversation.
"I'm a very proud Latina, and that's like the first thing I said," Dorantes told the team's website. "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."
Who is Natalia Dorantes? The Latina already has a strong resume
Dorantes joins a small group of women working in the NFL, but she's the first to fill a football programs coordinator role. She seems to have already proven herself in the football world.
Dorantes was a social media intern for the Arizona Cardinals and Arizona State University before joining the Texas A&M's staff, first as a creative recruiting coordinator, then as its football communications coordinator. She has also served as a social media content creator in the NFL.
According to the team's website, Rivera himself used to handle the type of logistics Dorantes will have, but since his recent battle with cancer, he prefers to hand off those tasks so as not to expend unnecessary energy.
Rivera found inspiration from the Cleveland Browns, who employed Callie Brownson as chief-of-staff. He also spoke with NFL Senior Director of Diversity and Inclusion Sam Rapoport and Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott about creating such a role in Washington.
"As you look at these women and you look at their accomplishments," Rivera told the team's website, "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."