Former White House Cabinet member to join Broncos ownership group


Some have spoken of former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice becoming commissioner of the NFL. Being part owner of an NFL team might be the best thing to do.

On Monday morning, the Broncos announced that Rice would join the Walton-Penner ownership group, which is expected to receive league approval and take charge of the team later this summer. His full resume includes a four-year stint as secretary of state from 2005 to 2009 in the presidential administration of George W. Bush, preceded by four years as national security adviser. She also served as provost of Stanford University for six years in the 1990s.

But Rice has also been a lifelong sports enthusiast — and an avid and passionate observer of professional soccer in particular. This led to the Browns wanting to contact her about their 2018 head coaching vacancy, according to an ESPN report at the time. Nothing came of it, though last year she joked with Peyton and Eli Manning on a “Manningcast” she would call “never, ever pre-emptive defense.”

“I’m really happy to see women in the front offices, (and) in the front office of the NFL as well. It’s a wonderful breakthrough,” she said on the “Manningcast” last year. “I think the next breakthrough is to see if women can find their niche (coaching jobs)…You’re going to have to have someone who goes through that progression…You don’t need to have played that game to understand it and train well.

Rice’s ties to Denver date back to 1967, when she was 12 and her family moved to Mile High City. She graduated from St. Mary’s Academy, then earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver. She then returned to DU to earn a doctorate in political science in 1981.

Rice’s relationship with the Broncos also dates back to his DU registration. She was previously engaged to Ring of Fame wide receiver Rick Upchurch before breaking up.

Now she will be able to help oversee those who decide.

Rice is the second minority to join the Broncos ownership group, joining business executive Mellody Hobson.


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