From The Football Field To The Front Office: Samantha Goldman Is Paving Her Own Path To The NFL
By Hunter Carroll
Samantha Goldman’s proactive approach on a campus visit to the University of Miami led to a four-year stint working for the famed Hurricanes football program. Now she has a position as an NFL staff assistant waiting for her when she graduates.
A four-sport athlete in high school, Goldman knew she wanted to continue being involved in sports in college even before she knew what college she was going to.
Before a visit to the Miami campus, Goldman emailed the director of football opportunities, who set up a meeting with the team equipment manager. They made a quick connection, and the equipment manager offered her a job if she ended up at the school. It wasn’t long after that Goldman decided to join the ‘Canes.
She joined the team in Miami two weeks before freshman orientation to work on their fall camp. Before her peers had even arrived on campus, Goldman had already started on a trajectory to a role in Miami Dolphins’ accounting department that she will take when she graduates in May.
Goldman played soccer for about 13 years growing up, and was a four-sport athlete in high school — including three seasons as the kicker for her school’s varsity football team, which she said is when she realized she wanted to work in sports.
“Seeing the ins and outs of my high school football team led me to know that in college, I really wanted to work in sports,” she said.
Her freshman year, Goldman worked with linebackers under Coach Manny Diaz, who took over as head coach in 2018. Diaz’s new role prompted Goldman to consider her own role with the team.
“I knew that even though I loved working in equipment, I really wanted to go into the business side of football,” Goldman said. “I took the opportunity to meet with Coach Diaz in his new office and pitch him this idea of having a student assistant to the head coach that was more in the office as opposed to being on the field.”
In her new position, Goldman became a leading voice in creating the Manny Diaz Women’s Football Clinic — an event where female Canes fans could visit the team facilities, meet coaches, run drills and ask questions.
“It was great to show them how we appreciate them being part of our fanbase and also try and expand the women’s side of our fanbase,” she said.
Goldman’s work with the Miami Hurricanes also led to an invitation to the NFL Women’s Careers in Football Forum at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis in February 2020.
“It was an incredible experience,” Goldman said. “They invite 40 women who are working in college athletics or in entry-level NFL positions who really want to break into the NFL. We got to see panels, meet with executives, coaches, scouts, and go to breakout sessions with them. All these people at these forums are eventually on the field making history, so it’s truly an incredible experience.”
Goldman and the women she met at the forum have kept in touch since then. Whether it be messaging on GroupMe or scheduling Zoom meetings to catch up, the support system they have created has been incredibly beneficial to Goldman.
“We call it our sorority. It’s just like a sisterhood in football, and those women are some of the most inspirational people I have ever met,” she said. “Even though I will probably be competing with these people for the same jobs in the future, everyone is so supportive and wants everyone to succeed.”
Outside of football, Samantha is in a 4.5-year master’s program at Miami. She will graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, and then receive her master’s in the same field in December.
Following her graduation in May, Goldman will be working with the Miami Dolphins in their accounting department. She was proactive in setting that up, as well — reaching out to the team to talk about potential opportunities after she learned their summer internship program was paused due to the pandemic.
“I reached out and said, ‘If you’re still having one this year or if there is any way I can get involved this summer, I would love to,’” she said. “I’ve done plenty of networking with them through phone calls and informational interviews quite a few times and then they took me up on it. I interviewed over Zoom, and we created this role for me.”
Goldman will work with the team through the summer and hopes the opportunity will lead to a full-time position after she graduates with her master’s degree in December. That should be just the start of her career working in the NFL. She one day dreams of becoming a C-suite executive for an NFL franchise.
Photo Credit: Photos courtesy of Samantha Goldman