Callie Brownson always has one wish on National Girls and Women in Sports Day.
Brownson, the Browns' Chief of Staff who has been one of the first women to break through multiple coaching barriers in the NFL, believes the "day" should really be celebrated every day. She knows how impactful it can be for other women, particularly children or those just getting into sports, to see the achievements other women have accomplished in reaching jobs or simply playing games they love.
To Brownson, one day of recognition will never be enough to drive home the point that women deserve just as big of a place in professional sports as men, but she still views the day as an important one to highlight the progress that has been made in creating equal opportunities.
"I think it's an important day because the exposure and the organizations who are being very forward in progress of including women in sports (are) able to be very proud of that," she said in an interview on Cleveland Browns Daily. "I think it's a day that everybody gets to acknowledge women who are involved and women who want to get involved."
Brownson has become a role model for younger women looking to continue to break the barriers they often face when they seek opportunities to play, coach or work at the professional sports level. In 2020, her first season as Browns Chief of Staff, she became the first woman to coach an NFL position group in a regular-season game when she filled in as a tight ends coach in Week 12. She also stepped in as pass game coordinator and wide receivers coach in Week 17 and was again the tight ends coach for the Browns' Wild Card playoff game against the Steelers.
Brownson has always been outspoken about her goals toward continuing to show other women that they can be in her shoes, and National Women in Sports Day is an opportunity for others to see just how many other women have been able to break into the top professional sports ranks.
"It's awesome for these organizations to show their appreciation for any women who are involved in sports in any way and those who play sports," she said. "It's also an opportunity for any aspiring women who want to get involved to see just how widespread this is and this whole movement."
Brownson is set to further her coaching career even more this summer when she heads to Finland to serve as head coach for USA Football in the 2022 International Federation of American Football (IFAF) Women's Tackle World Championship. She recently completed hires for her coaching staff, which will include three other women, and is preparing to host two days of trials in Bradenton, Florida, in March to select players for her team.
"We're really excited for it," she said. "We're expecting a big group, and we'll get to spend two days evaluating the best ballers in the country. That to me is, like, heaven."
Brownson, who played for USA Football in 2013 and 2017 and won gold medals in both years, believes more and more women will continue to join the game as the number of women holding high-ranking positions in the NFL continues to increase. She's committed to keeping the momentum moving, and that includes continuing to highlight the messages and exposure that has been elevated even more on National Girls and Women in Sports Day.
"When we push the needle and promote these things, I think about the young girls who get to see that and are like, 'Oh my gosh, I didn't realize this many women worked in this many organizations.'
"The exposure you get builds that, and it goes back to the saying we always tag with this: 'If she can see it, she can be it.'"