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Browns make more changes to football ops staff ahead of 2022 season

Browns CrossCountry Mortgage Campus Berea Facility
Posted at 5:24 PM, Jun 16, 2022

BEREA, Ohio — In May News 5 reported that former Eagles executive Catherine Raîche was being hired by the Browns as the assistant general manager and vice president of football operations and vice president of player personnel Glenn Cook was being promoted to share the assistant general manager role with Raîche. On Thursday, the Browns made those moves, and others, official.

Raîche will work with Cook, both serving alongside general manager Andrew Berry.

Raîche, 33, is the NFL's highest-ranking female football executive and has performed many duties at the highest level, including pro and college scouting, contract management, player/staff development, and football research. Before entering the NFL, she had spent five years working in the Canadian Football League and prior to that practiced law for the Québec Bar Association.

Last season, Cook had interviewed for general manager positions with other teams, including the Minnesota Vikings—the team that ended up hiring former Browns vice president of football operations Kwesi Adofo-Mensah as their general manager.

In addition to the hiring of Raîche and the promotion of Cook, the Browns made several other moves in their football operations staff.

The Browns have hired Hajriz Aliu, Ryan Conway and Cyrus Wolford as scouting assistants; Chris Buford as a national scout; Shawn Heinlen as a Southwest area scout; and Jimmy Raye as a senior executive adviser to the general manager.

Aliu comes to Cleveland from UCLA where he served as a defensive assistant and worked in operations and scouting. He was born in Pristina, Kosovo and grew up in Santee, California.

Conway worked for the Browns as a scouting research film analyst in this year's draft. He graduated from the University of Virginia last year after working for the football team as a video manager and scouting assistant.

Wolford graduated from Temple this year after working in recruiting/scouting and equipment for the school. He comes to Cleveland from Penn football where he worked as a player personnel intern.

Buford has spent the past 10 seasons with the Miami Dolphins, working the last three years as a Southwest area scout. He played defensive tackle at Baylor, where he graduated from.

Heinlen has 22 years of NFL scouting experience with his most recent position being the Southwest area scout for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Raye began his NFL career in 1991 as a wide receiver for the Rams. After his playing career, he was hired as the offensive quality control coach for the Kansas City Chiefs, then went on to work as a scout with the Chargers, working his way up to director of college scouting and director of player personnel. Raye was hired as the VP of football ops for the Colts in 2013 and became the assistant GM of the Texans in 2017.

The Browns made a few other promotions and role changes among the football operations staff besides Cook's as well Thursday, with Adam Al-Khayyal, Zach Ayers, Josh Cox, Sam DeLuca, Matt Donahoe, Joe Dever, Tyler Hamblin, Callum Mahoney, Shane Normandeau, Max Paulus, Bob Quinn and Joy Tapajcik landing new roles.

Al-Khayyal began as an intern in player personnel and football administration for the Browns in 2015 and for the past two seasons has served as the assistant director of pro personnel. He has been promoted to director of pro scouting.

Ayers has served as the West Coast area scout for the past six years with the Browns but has been promoted to national scout where he'll be the primary cross-checker in the entire West region of the country.

Cox began his career with the Browns in 2015 as a film analyst. This is his seventh season with the Browns and after most recently covering the midlands for the past two years, Cox will now serve as a West Coast area scout.

DeLuca joined the Browns in 2013 and is taking on an expanded role as the assistant director of pro scouting, assisting with scouting opponents, free agency evaluation, and overall day-to-day operations of the department.

Donahoe was hired by the Browns in 2018 and is transitioning to the role of Southeast area scout for the team.

Dever, a Cleveland native and St. Edward High School graduate, was hired as a scouting intern in 2019 after spending two years as a graduate assistant football coach at John Carroll University. He will now transition to the role of Mid-Atlantic area scout.

Hamblin began as a scouting assistant in player personnel with the Browns in 2017, and for the past two seasons has served as a football operations coordinator. He will now serve as the director of football operations.

Mahoney joined the Browns as an intern in the fall of 2019 and has worked on the contract management team. He has now been promoted to a role as a salary cap and contract analyst.

Normandeau was hired by the Browns in 2020 as a scouting assistant and is entering his third season with Cleveland. This year, he'll have a new role as football operations coordinator.

Paulus, a Massillon native, has worked for the Browns for the past 10 years, working six years as a Mid-Atlantic area scout. He has now been promoted to director of college scouting.

Quinn, the former Lions general manager, served as a senior consultant for the Browns last season. He will now take on the role of senior personnel/coaching executive, working with both personnel and coaching staff.

Tapajcik is entering her second season with the Browns, contributing to logistics, grounds groups, development, and people operations. The Navy veteran had previously spent years in Naval Intelligence and with the U.S. Naval Academy's football program. She will now take on the role of player personnel and football operations process manager.

RELATED: Browns making front office moves with Glenn Cook, Catherine Raîche to share assistant GM role

Camryn Justice is a reporter at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Twitter @camijustice.

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