Bears hire Darby Dunnagan as director of video operations

The former Northwestern employee will be the highest-ranking female across all video departments leaguewide.

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Former Northwestern player development director Darby Dunnagan was hired by the Bears

Courtesy Northwestern athletic department

The Bears hired Darby Dunnagan as their director of video operations Wednesday, making her the first woman to hold the title for the team and the highest-ranking female across all video departments leaguewide.

Dunnagan had served as the Northwestern football team’s player-development director. When NU hired her as video coordinator in July 2013, she became the first woman to hold that role for a power conference football program. She supervised the Wildcats’ video staff and assisted in shooting and editing special events and player features. Two years ago, she was named Big Ten Video Coordinator of the Year.

Dunnagan was Conference USA Video Coordinator of the Year twice during her six-year stint with the Memphis athletic department. She was a graduate assistant in the Marshall video department after serving as a student manager and video-department worker while at Virginia. She is a Rural Retreat, Virginia, native. She served a two-year term as president of the Collegiate Sports Video Association from 2018 to 2020.

“Her leadership, experience and track record make her a great addition, and we can’t wait to see how she helps our players, coaches and staff,” GM Ryan Poles said in a release. “This role is critical to our preparation, and Darby has the traits to help us at a high level.”

Dunnagan will replace Dave Hendrickson when he retires in June after 28 years with the Bears.

On Monday, the Bears began the first phase of their offseason program, which allows players to participate in meetings and strength and conditioning drills. They’ll hold a rookie minicamp with draft picks and undrafted free-agent signees in 2½ weeks, followed by OTAs in May and early June and a mandatory veteran minicamp June 13 to 15.

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