Dawn Aponte, one of the most powerful women in football, is transitioning away from her job as the executive vice president of the Miami Dolphins.
"I am transitioning out of the Dolphins," Aponte said, via the Herald. "This is something (executive vice president) Mike (Tannenbaum), Matt and I have been talking about for more than several months. It started out as a conversation with sort of what's the next step in my progression and my career, where my interests are and what I've been looking to do."
She added: "I've had an amazing experience in the NFL with all the different things I've been able to do and touch and experience," Aponte said. "In our conversations we discussed how I could best use my experience and expand it to more business involvement. This is something new where I can contribute but also grow and develop."
Aponte, along with former Raiders CEO Amy Trask, Bengals vice president Katie Blackburn, Jets director of football administration Jacqueline Davidson, Bills assistant coach Kathryn Smith, ex-Cardinals assistant Jen Welter, NFL official Sarah Thomas and former Jets scout Connie Carberg, have been instrumental at raising the profile of women in the typically male-dominated industry.
Aponte got her first break with the Jets before bouncing to the league office and to the Cleveland Browns. At her current post in Miami, she has been instrumental in coaching searches, contract negotiations and organizational restructuring. The Dolphins arguably landed the most sought-after coaching candidate on the market this offseason in Adam Gase.
Along the way, Aponte has been an advocate for women in the sport and recently told the Palm Beach Post that she thinks there will be female general manager at some point in the near future.
"For me, it was always, why are there no women?" Aponte said. "And to this day, I still find it really mind-boggling to some extent that there aren't more women because I don't really feel that there are necessarily barriers that are up. I just feel like I don't know if women are taking or trying to take this career path."