Aug 17, 2022 - Sports

Des Moines' first-ever female football coach leads the East Scarlets

New assistant coach Renate Rice
On the first official day of practice for fall sports, the East Scarlets welcomed a new head football coach, Tyrone Tyler, as well as a new assistant coach, Renate Rice. Photo courtesy of DMPS

The Des Moines School District has hired a woman to coach football for the first time ever.

Yes, but: Being the only woman on the football field is nothing new for Renate Rice.

  • "I've always been a rough and tumble kind of girl," Rice told Axios. "I like to compete."

State of play: In seventh grade, Rice was the only girl playing in Little All-American Football in Des Moines.

  • She always loved sports and the camaraderie that came with them.

But the next year, her dad wouldn't let her play again, saying she wouldn't fit in with the boys.

  • She moved on to other sports, playing everything from basketball to volleyball.

What happened: By chance, Rice returned to football as an adult when a friend surprised her by signing her up for tackle football tryouts in 2007.

  • Since then, it's played a huge part in her life. Rice played for the Iowa Crush for 12 years, winning three All-Star rings and a championship.

So when Rice got a call from East Scarlets new head football coach, Tyrone Tyler, about coaching, she didn't hesitate.

  • "I love to see that spark," Rice said about coaching football. "I love to see that 'Aha' moment when it all clicks together."

What's next: The Scarlet's first home game is Aug. 26 versus Roosevelt.

avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Des Moines.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Des Moines stories

No stories could be found

Des Moinespostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Des Moines.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more