Callie Brownson will swap her brown and orange gear this summer for red, white and blue – and chase another gold.
The Cleveland Browns chief of staff, and one of the few current NFL assistant coaches, will coach the United States Women’s National Team this summer at the world championships in Finland.
It’s a dream job for Brownson, 32, who won two gold medals playing for the USA team.
“It means a lot to me,” she said on a Zoom call Thursday. “The moments I have experienced as a player for this national team are so special to me. You can’t say enough about playing the sport you love while playing internationally and representing your country. “
His selection by American football follows his arrest in May for driving a vehicle under the influence. She is grateful for the support she received from the Browns and others during a difficult time.
“I was really scared by the time everything I had worked for was gone,” Brownson told the Akron Beacon-Journal on Wednesday. “But that’s, I guess, a testament to how much I love it and how much it means to me. It was the thing I was most afraid of losing.
“I made a really, really horrible, dangerous and irresponsible decision that night, and I accept the consequences that come with it. No one was more disappointed with my actions that night than myself.”
Brownson is in his second season with the Browns. Coach Kevin Stefanski hired her shortly after getting the job at Cleveland, and he credited her with helping him get through a tough first season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brownson, who will miss part of training camp to coach the U.S. team, laughed when asked if she was convinced Stefanski could function without her.
“We’ve all learned in 2020 that we need to have contingency plans, and that’s a positive reason to have a contingency plan,” she said.
The U.S. team will compete in the International Federation of American Football World Championship in Vantaa, Finland from July 27 to August 31. 8. The squad will consist of 45 players and seven assistants, and Brownson said it was “a priority” to hire women for some of these jobs.
The Americans will face seven other teams, all trying to dethrone them as champions.
“The world is coming for the American team,” said Brownson, adding that the international teams have closed the gap over the past five years with the United States. “We have won three gold medals and we want a fourth. They too.”
After playing in the Women’s Football Alliance, Brownson began her coaching career at her high school in Alexandria, Virginia. She worked as a trainee scout with the New York Jets before moving to Dartmouth.
She then spent a season as a trainee coach with the Buffalo Bills before being handpicked by Stefanski, who started out as an administrative assistant in Minnesota.
“USA Football made a huge selection in Callie,” Stefanski said.
Brownson’s responsibilities with the Browns extended beyond planning. Last season, she became the first female position coach in a game when she replaced tight ends coach Drew Petzing, who did not make the trip to Jacksonville after his wife, Louisa, gave birth. to the couple’s first child.
Brownson has also assisted the Cleveland running backs, and she’s ubiquitous on the field during practices while shouting out exercise changes.
“I have become a much better coach and a much better person since being here at Cleveland Brown,” she said. “I’m grateful for everything they taught me, how much they believed in me and I’ve grown a lot since being here as a coach.