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Maya Ana Callender has been blazing trails in college football as Princeton University’s director of football operations, and now she’s made history in pro football.
On Sunday, the New England Patriots announced that they had hired Callender as an entry-level scout, marking the first time in team history that the Patriots hired a full-time female scout.
Callender, a 2016 graduate of Utica College, joined Princeton and then received a training-camp fellowship with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2021. After re-joining the Tigers, she made scouting a priority.
“Her whole background had been operations and she was really good at it, but they gave [fellows] different areas of the organization to work and one of them was the scouting piece. She called me from Philadelphia, and I could hear the joy in her voice,” said Princeton football coach Bob Surace to ESPN.
That season she continued her operations duties but added scouting to her job duties, and that’s where she excelled.
“She was able to carve out time almost every day to practice the craft of evaluating,” said Surace. “She would look at NFL games, evaluate players and learn scout-speak — the language of talking about somebody’s reach, length, production, how they use their hands. … She would have a pad out at our practices, taking notes.”
Callender’s time with the Eagles came in handy as it both strengthened Princeton’s relationship with pro scouts and showcased her new talent.
“She became our pro/NFL liaison, so every time a scout came in — which was probably 50 times last year, every team came in at least once — she set them up,” continued Surace. “She talked about the players, their injury histories, how she had evaluated their performances. Then, by the time the scouts got to me, they didn’t have a lot of questions. I was kind of irrelevant on that, which was a new thing for me. She was terrific.”
Now Callender will take her talents to New England and work under legendary head coach, Bill Belichick.
Callender also joins the ranks of the 33 other women who, as of 2022 (per the NFL), are employed as full-time NFL scouts.
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