9-year-old girl applies for head coach with New Orleans Saints

Following her dream to be the first female NFL coach


 Every kid dreams about what they are going to be when they grow up, but Sparta resident Izzy Sherman decided she wasn’t going to wait until she grew up to get started on her career.

Izzy, a fourth-grade student at Cassville Elementary, is a New Orleans Saints fan, and, after the unexpected departure of her favorite team’s coach, she decided she would go ahead and apply for the vacant position – after all, if your dream job is available, why wait.

“Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be the first female head coach of the Saints, and, when Sean Payton retired, I thought there’s my chance,” the 9-year-old Sparta native said and explained that the first step to getting any job is to apply. “I think (coaching an NFL team) would be fun and exciting, and I would get to try a lot of things. Plus, I can be the boss of old people.”

Izzy wrote a letter to Saints owner Gayle Benson explaining why she should be the next head coach for the New Orleans NFL team. Izzy was sure to include her academic achievements as well as her unswerving loyalty to what fans call WhoDatNation.

“My mom says I’m bossy, plus I’m really good at math,” she said, which were among the reasons she included in her application letter for why she should have the job.  “I’m good at math so that means I can count yards and stuff.”

Unfortunately, as is often the case with “snail mail,” Izzy’s application didn’t reach Benson before her interviews had been concluded, and a new head coach, Dennis Allen, had been hired. However, as any good employer would do, Benson reached out to Izzy and made sure Izzy knew she (Benson) had received the application and why she (Izzy) hadn’t been selected.

“I was upset that I didn’t get the job, but I know that Dennis Allen will be a good coach,” Izzy said about missing out on her opportunity. “Our defense was really good last year, and he was the defensive coach.”

Benson went a step further and encouraged Izzy to keep up the good work in school, stay loyal to her beliefs, and to keep working toward her goals. In addition, Benson sent the young Saints’ fan a football that had been autographed by the entire team, including former head coach and possible future Hall of Fame candidate Sean Peyton.

While she won’t be calling plays, running practices, or making personnel decisions for the New Orleans Saints next season, Izzy will still be cheering on her favorite team, and she had some advice for the man who got the job she was seeking.

While she is impressed with his defensive tactics, Izzy had some advice for the new head coach when it comes to the offense and the overall team.

“I think he should play Jameis Winston instead of Taysom Hill,” she offered advice for the first thing she would have done if she had been named the new head coach of the New Orleans Saints and then added one more piece of advice that she said is important to being a good coach (and fan).  “No matter what, if they play rough or have a bad season, don’t ever give up on them!”

So it was back to the classroom for the Cassville Elementary student who now knows firsthand that working hard, studying, and doing well in school will be important factors in her future career opportunities.

“School is going to be important, I am going to take honors classes when I get to high school and maybe study Sports Management,” Izzy said, but also admitted that she has a backup plan ‘just in case.’ “Or I’ll be a veterinarian.”

Regardless of what she chooses to do, there is no doubt Izzy Sherman has learned the importance of knowing what she wants, preparation, studying, and, maybe most importantly, taking a chance. Because, after all, the first step is always to apply.      


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