NFL | Catherine Raîche named VP for the Philadelphia Eagles


Catherine Raîche’s rise in the NFL continues. The Philadelphia Eagles announced Thursday that she was being promoted to the team’s vice president of football operations.



Press

The Quebecker, who was the coordinator of football operations and staff of the Eagles players, therefore inherits increased responsibilities within the organization. Never has a woman held such a high hierarchical position in the NFL.

« In her new role, Raîche will be involved in all aspects of football operations and player personnel, including professional and college recruiting, contract management, player and staff development and football research, » it reads. in the team’s statement.

Raîche thus takes one more step towards her dream of becoming general manager of an NFL team, a dream from which she has never hidden. In an interview with our colleague Ariane Lacoursière last December, she said: “If we always wait to see someone who looks like us do something, maybe that’s why it’s been 30 years since there is none, female DG, in the league.  »

From the Alouettes to the Eagles

Raîche has worked in the world of football since 2015. It was Jim Popp, then GM of the Alouettes, who had hired her as an unpaid intern. She then held the position of football administration coordinator for the Alouettes, before being appointed in January 2017 as assistant general manager.

« Jim is extremely progressive, » she said last December. When it comes time to engage people, he doesn’t put up barriers based on gender or skin color. He wants to have the best people around him. The most competent.

“The more you want, the more he gives you. It allowed me to develop quickly. He trusted me. I learned a lot from him and grew a lot. […] Someone has to give you the opportunity to show what you can do. And I had that chance with Jim.  »

Raîche then ended up with the Toronto Argonauts, where she joined Popp, who was in her second year as general manager. She held a position there where she negotiated contracts and managed the salary cap. It also touched on recruiting.

“It was something I was working on. Study the game in detail to be able to better assess the players. I refined my skills. I was able to continue that with Jim who is a very good evaluator, ”she says.

She was then offered a bigger role for the Tampa Bay Vipers in the XFL, a team led by Marc Trestman, who was the head coach of the Argonauts during Raiche’s stint in Queen City.

Trestman had offered Raîche the post of director of football operations. “He wanted me to get on the team,” she explained. But six months later, the Eagles called him to offer him a job in operations and recruiting. It was Dawn Aponte, who works at the NFL, who recommended Catherine Raîche to the Eagles. This accountant by training, who has held several major positions, has helped Raîche a lot in her development.

A world of men

Aware that she lives in a man’s world, Catherine Raîche recognizes that she has become accustomed to arriving « really well prepared ». “I really do my job in detail,” she explained. I don’t know if men feel the same pressure. But I put myself, yes, a pressure, to be more prepared. I want my arguments to be supported.  »

During the pandemic, Catherine Raîche also created with a colleague a group bringing together women who work directly in football operations in the league.

“There are 85 of us in the group. There are 32 teams in the league, she revealed to Press. That’s less than three women per team. It’s not a lot. But it’s more than I thought, ”she said.

Catherine Raîche occasionally organized virtual events with this group. “We bring in a general manager, a coach… People who are in a position of power. So that they meet and know that these women exist. Proximity to power is very important. Men have the advantage. It’s a boys club. They know each other. And we have to get into that club.  »

Raîche holds a law degree from the University of Sherbrooke and holds a master’s degree in taxation.



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