News & Politics

Coolidge High School Football Coach Natalie Randolph Steps Down

Randolph was believed to be the only active female head coach of a varsity football team in the entire country.

Randolph at the 2011 Turkey Bowl. Photograph courtesy DC Public Schools.

Natalie Randolph, the coach of the varsity football team at Northwest DC’s Coolidge High School and believed to be the nation’s only female head coach of a varsity high school football team, is stepping down after four seasons. Randolph delivered her resignation to Coolidge Athletic Director Jonathan Blackmon on Tuesday following the conclusion of a disappointing 1-10 season, the Washington Post reports.

Despite this year’s dismal record, Randolph had her share of on-field achievements. In 2011, she led the Coolidge Colts to an 8-3 record and an appearance in the Turkey Bowl, the District’s high-school football championship game. She leaves the team with a career record of 16-26.

Randolph, who is keeping her day job as a science teacher at Coolidge, was picked in 2010 after a colleague suggested she apply to fill the coaching vacancy. She had played wide receiver for six seasons with the DC Divas of the Independent Women’s Football League.

“The first thing is, I love football, no matter whose domain it is,” she said when she got the job. Her appointment to the role picked up widespread national attention, including profiles from ESPN. Then-mayor Adrian Fenty proclaimed it “Natalie Randolph Day” in the District.

Blackmon told the Post that Randolph wants to focus full-time on teaching, but that her former players will “really miss her.”