Earlier this month, both Stephen A. Smith and Jemele Hill blasted the NFL for not hiring any black or minority head coaches when five positions were open. That was before the Washington Redskins hired Ron Rivera as their head coach.
Both journalists also brought up the Rooney Rule when they spoke about the NFL, a policy established in the league that says teams have to interview minorities for head coaching positions and senior front office jobs.
Although only one minority was hired when the coaching positions were open, a black man was recently brought on as the Cleveland Browns’ general manager.
His name is Andrew Berry, and at 32 years old he’s become the youngest general manager in NFL history.
But despite his young age, Berry has already racked up some major experience. He was hired as the Browns’ vice president of player personnel in 2016, which he held until February of last year. He was also vice president of football operations for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Before he was an executive, Berry attended Harvard University, where he played cornerback for the football team and was selected to the All-Ivy League team three times.
According to the Browns’ website, Berry earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s in computer science in four years at Harvard, after which he turned down a job offer from Goldman Sachs and took a job with the Indianapolis Colts instead.
He also tried to play for the NFL after college but wasn’t selected by a team. Berry thought about being a football coach at one time as well, which he talked about in a 2017 interview.
“I didn’t know anything about scouting and personnel coming out of college,” he said then. “So I think it was more of a function of learning about what I would want to do in the profession because there was a part where I always thought that I would go into coaching.”
“I just felt the ability to build an entire football operation and construct a team from all facets — whether it’s pro scouting or college scouting, the financial implications, the strategic implications — was just pretty cool,” added Berry.
On Tuesday, the Browns posted a photo of Berry to Instagram and wrote, “Welcome back.”
“A great piece. Looking forward to the rest of the offseason,” someone wrote in the comments afterward.
“Great move🤙,” wrote someone else.