In 2015, Catherine Raiche was a corporate and tax attorney by day. She was a Canadian taxation master’s student at night. On weekends, she volunteered for the Canadian Football League’s Montreal Alouettes.
“I had a solid plan B to be strategic and confident with my plan A,” Raiche told USA Today Sports over Zoom earlier this month. “My plan B was law, and my plan A was football.”
Plan A is working.
Thursday, the Philadelphia Eagles announced they were promoting Raiche to vice president of football operations, the most senior-ranking team personnel position a woman has held in NFL history.
The promotion launches Raiche to the same position Andrew Berry held in Philadelphia in 2019. Berry was hired as Cleveland Browns general manager in January 2020 and oversaw the end of that team's lengthy playoff drought.
Catherine Raiche, the Philadelphia Eagles' new vice president of football operations. (Photo: Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Eagles)
Raiche joined the Eagles in 2019 as a personnel and football operations coordinator. She has since juggled responsibilities in player evaluation, player development, contract management, football administration and football research.
Helping determine which prospects would best fit the Eagles’ scheme, Raiche wrote 115 reports on prospects from 17 schools leading up to the 2021 NFL draft. Free agency strategies? Raiche led the ranking and evaluation of free agents who played for four other NFL teams as she assessed the Eagles' needs. She also established on- and off-field development objectives to guide rookies’ transition into professional football.
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“It’s about knowing the player in and out, gathering the information about this player and being able to present it in a concise, precise and accurate way to the best of the information you have available at the time,” Raiche said.
“I’m always very confident when I share my opinion because I know they’re based on these facts or this research I’ve been doing, the film I’ve been watching, the stats I’ve been looking at to support my position.”
The NFL is the third professional football league Raiche has worked in. In five years with the CFL, she rose to assistant general manager of football operations for the Alouettes and director of football administration for the Toronto Argonauts.
In 2019, she was director of football operations for the XFL’s Tampa Bay Vipers before joining the Eagles.
Across all three leagues, Raiche said players have welcomed her without regard to her gender.
“The players have always been the most progressive and inclusive,” she said. “This is their mindset: ‘I want to get better. We want to win. How can you help me do that? And if you do, I don’t care who you are.’”
Raiche is one of two women in Philadelphia with scouting responsibilities. The Eagles also promoted Ameena Soliman on Thursday from player personnel intern to pro scout.
Raiche and Soliman are among roughly 13 women with scouting responsibilities on NFL teams. At least eight received promotions this month.
Follow USA TODAY Sports' Jori Epstein on Twitter @JoriEpstein.
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