In March, Natalie Randolph was named head varsity football coach of Coolidge High School in Washington D.C.
Yes, HER name is Natalie.
She brings with her an impressive resume’. Randolph ran her way onto the track team at University of Virginia and earned a full ride scholarship, played for the Independent Women’s Football League‘s DC Divas for several seasons until sidelined with an ankle injury, and was an assistant coach at another DC area high school for 2 years prior to her current position.
She joins an exclusive club of women head coaches- a club of two. Debbie Vance of Lehman High School in the Bronx is the only other known member.
The thing that set her apart from the 15 others that were considered for the job was her commitment to academics:
“I hope that they know that I really don’t care about winning football games. But I do care about school. My players will be productive citizens someday, not delinquents on a curb. Athletes are just not made to do academics enough, and that’s nationwide. But I’m going to change that.”
Apparently the school administration agrees with her philosophy. As a biology teacher at Coolidge she requires daily progress reports from each of her players who must run for less than perfect reports.
Female, engaged, petite (5? 3?), soft-spoken, and not to mention cute-as-a-button, she got the job because of her football knowledge and her academic focus. She’s tough, too, and seems to be able to handle the scrutiny as well as the media attention:
“I can do it. I’m qualified. I played the game. I know the kids. I love the kids.”
Yes, her name is Natalie, but you can just call her Coach.
Kendra always thought she was more suited to football than cheerleading, and wishes she could coach, too.