DES MOINES, Iowa — Des Moines East football is celebrating its newest addition to the team, which is also a first for the metro.

After earning three All-Star rings, and a championship during a 12-year career playing tackle football –Renate Rice can now add high school coach to her resume.

“It’s kind of unbelievable at times. I’m kind of still trying to take it all in and absorb it. This all happened really quick so it’s kind of still new but, yeah, it’s amazing,” said Rice.

The Des Moines native said the phone call from Head Coach Tyrone Tyler came as a shock but the answer to whether she would consider joining the Scarlet coaching staff was a very quick and convincing, “Yes.”

Rice knows the game, she played it well and looks forward to leaving her mark on this male-dominated sport. So far, players are treating Coach Rice like they would any other role model with a whistle.

“It feels great having a woman on the staff. Not many schools have that so we’re different. We have that unique culture. I like that,” said junior quarterback Jecari Patton.
 
“To them, I think she’s just one of the coaches so it’s a respect factor. You’re going to respect whether it’s a female or a male, it’s someone who’s going to give you direction and support you and teach you so I don’t think it really matters to them,” said Coach Tyler.

Being a minority coach is something Coach Tyler is also very proud of, but again, he said he looked for the best coach available to replace a vacancy and Renate Rice was top of the list for him.

The Scarlets open the season at home against cross-town rival Des Moines Roosevelt on August 26.