LAKE FOREST — During the 2023 offseason, the Bears have made some history when it comes to their football operations staff.
This week, the team announced that Darby Dunnagan has been hired as the director of video operations, becoming the first woman to hold that role in team history. She comes to Lake Forest from Evanston, where she was the director of player operations for Northwestern University’s football program.
As Dunnagan takes the position, she will become the highest-ranking woman in football video in the National Football League.
Dunnagan will replace Dave Hendrickson, who will be retiring from the position after 28 years with the Bears.
“We are excited to welcome Darby in to lead our video operations,” said Bears general manager Ryan Poles in a release from the team. “Her leadership, experience and track record make her a great addition to our organization and we can’t wait to see how she helps our players, coaches and staff.
“This role is critical to our preparation and Darby has the traits to help us at a high level. We also want to thank Dave for his contributions to the club and wish him well in retirement.”
A graduate of the University of Virginia, Dunnagan started in athletics with the Cavaliers’ football team as a manager before switching over to the video department. After two years as a graduate assistant with Marshall University athletics, she then went to the University of Memphis as a video coordinator.
Six years later, Dunnagan arrived at Northwestern, where she coordinated the filming and editing of practice footage along with those of the Wildcats’ opponents for the coaching staff. At the same time, she also coordinated feature story shoots on players and team events.
For her efforts in Evanston, Dunnagan was named Big Ten Video Coordinator of the Year for 2020-21.