CLEVELAND — EDITOR'S NOTE: The video above previously aired on the Ultimate Cleveland Sports Show on June 16, 2022.
Since the Cleveland Browns returned to the field in 1999, there have been numerous coaching searches, as the team has had 10 full-time head coaches and a pair of interim coaches, too. Every coaching search has had its own unique twists and turns, but few were as unique as the team’s quest following the 2018 season.
The Browns started off the season 2-5-1 under head coach Hue Jackson. Jackson was then fired, as his record in his time with the Browns dropped to 3-36-1 across two-and-a-half seasons. The team handed the reigns to defensive coordinator Gregg Williams for the final eight games of the season and eventually hired Freddie Kitchens for the 2019 season.
The hire of Kitchens didn’t come before rumors that the Browns were interested in a very outside-the-box hire for the head coaching position, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
The Browns, of course, denied the reporting from ESPN in a statement from then-general manager John Dorsey.
Rice also made a statement of her own on her personal Facebook page at the time.
The story has been relatively quiet over the last several years, however, on Wednesday in a virtual press conference, Rice was asked about that time once more.
“I think they have a lot better qualified people to be the coach of the Cleveland Browns than me,” Rice said. “I am a huge fan. My dad was a football coach when I was born, I was supposed to be his All-American linebacker. I'm an only child, so I grew up watching football. And not just watching it, my dad would say, Condoleezza, what are they doing? I was 7 years old. Daddy, that's a trap block. Condoleezza, what are they doing? They're setting up a screen, Daddy. So, I knew the game and I still know the game. I was honored to serve on the College Football Playoff Committee."
“But I think the Browns found a really good coach in Kevin Stefanski and I'll stick to being a fan.”
That’s not the only thing Rice touched on when it came to the Browns. She was also asked during her availability about her feelings on new Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson as he is currently facing 24 civil lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct.
“Well, I'm someone who believes that you keep an open mind until all of the facts are evident,” Rice said. “I know the league is doing an investigation, the Browns have done an investigation and I will just wait to see what the outcome is. These are serious matters. I think every woman feels that these are serious matters, but hopefully people will get to the bottom of it and we'll see where we are in a couple months.”
Rice is being honored with the Ambassador of Golf award at the 2022 Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship next month at Firestone Country Club in Akron.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The video above previously aired on 3News on June 13, 2022.