Cleve Francis
cardiologist, musician

Cleve Francis

Cardiologist; President, Mount Vernon Cardiology Associates, Alexandria, Va.; musician.

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A game-changing moment

Q: Natalie Randolph has just been hired as the varsity football coach at Coolidge High School in Washington, D.C., which makes her one of the few female head coaches in the country. What will be the obstacles to her success and how should she try to overcome them? Can you imagine a day when a woman would be chosen to coach an NFL team? Or are some glass ceilings unbreakable?

It was a great breakthrough to have this happen. Based on Ms. Randolph's background, she has certainly has "put the time in" and deserves this unique opportunity. Being a pioneer is a tough road, but she appears to be up to the task.

Football is a historically male-dominated sport and it will take a very long time to convince many guys that women should participate at his level. In our lifetime, we have already seen women work as sports commentators and trainers, but never as coaches. She will still have to gain the respect of her players and be able to motivate them, as would any coach. The very nature of high school should make this possible. Winning will also help change a few minds.

If she is successful, this should open the door to more women who have the same degree of interest in the sport of football. The mental part of the game does not require the strength of a 350-pound tackle.

As far as participation at the collegate and professional levels, this might be a bit more difficult, considering the egos involved, but the first step has already been taken with the signing of this coach.

Hats off to Ms Randolph, Coolidge High School and Washington, D.C.

By Cleve Francis  |  March 18, 2010; 12:01 AM ET  | Category:  The glass ceiling Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Ability, heart and teamwork | Next: Resistance to change

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