After giving the idea some thought, Brownson, who once played in the Women's Football Alliance for the D.C. Divas, decided to transition from coaching softball to coaching football at her alma mater, Mount Vernon High School in Virginia. She spent four season as an assistant high school football coach before joining the NFL's Women's Careers Football Forum.
The program, which helps qualified women launch careers in football, led Brownson to land an internship with the New York Jets in the summer of 2017. Brownson worked in the team's scouting department, and says the internship was a huge opportunity for her to learn whether coaching or scouting was a better professional fit for her.
But even then, she says, "I didn't really know where that [internship] was going to take me. I was just kind of taking any opportunity I could get."
When her internship ended, Brownson continued to take advantage of every opportunity she could find, including the coaching role at Manning Passing Academy, which paved the way for her current position at Darmouth. Looking back, she says she's grateful she didn't quit, because there were moments where the future seemed uncertain.
"There were a ton of times where I was like, 'Man is this even possible?' And not that I don't have what it takes to get it done, but is anyone going to open this door? Because I am knocking pretty hard," she says. "A lot of times when you are doing something that people don't see often, you get a lot of 'no's' and a lot of shut doors and a lot of 'you're not a good fit.' But eventually, you get someone like coach Teevens, who comes around."
As the first woman in her position, Brownson says she finds it "absurd that there has not been another female on a college sideline," but she hopes that her presence will inspire other women to be as persistent as possible in reaching their football goals.
"You have to go into it with the mentality that you will be told 'no' more than you will be told 'yes,' and you have to remember why it's the journey that you picked," she says. "You have to be ready for the adversity and be on your game at the end of the day, because your credibility, work ethic and experience will speak volumes over anyone's opinion."
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