Natalia Dorantes worked as a recruiting coordinator at Texas A&M the last couple of years and that experience might have helped her make the jump to the NFL this offseason.
Dorantes direct messaged Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera during the NFL’s annual women’s form in February to introduce herself and thank Rivera for “supporting us” by taking part in the event. Dorantes said she didn’t ask for a job, but Rivera had already heard about Dorantes from agent Mike McCartney and was looking for someone to fill the coordinator of football programs role in the organization.
Rivera said he spoke to Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher and NFL senior director Sam Rapaport — Dorantes worked for the NFL before the Aggies — before speaking to Dorantes himself. His wife Stephanie also took part in the conversation and gave a strong vote of approval.
“This is kind of new ground for us, because I’ve never had a quote-unquote chief of staff,” Rivera said, via Rhiannon Walker of TheAthletic.com. “I needed a person that is going to 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.’ Because the one thing that I want her to understand is that she’s going to have my voice. And I trust her, and that’s why it was important for me to have Stephanie to follow up and tell me, ‘Go on, Ron, you can trust her.’ That’s one of the things that also came across when I talked to her references was that man, she’s very trustworthy.”
Dorantes is the first Latina to work in this capacity in the NFL and will deal with managing the calendar, coordinating personnel meetings, setting practice schedules, and other interactions between Rivera and the different departments of the organization.