OWINGS MILLS, Md. — It is a changing of the guard inside the building known as ‘The Castle.’
After 18 years serving as president of the Baltimore Ravens, Dick Cass is retiring. Sashi Brown will take his place.
"From my perspective I really take it seriously, in terms of the responsibility that you take that baton and you know it’s coming at a good pace," said Brown.
"I’ve enjoyed coming to work every day," said Cass. "I have a high degree of confidence that Sashi is just going to do an excellent job."
The two men held a press conference at the Ravens team headquarters on Thursday.
Since 2004 Cass, 76, has been owner Steve Bisciotti’s right-hand man, his mouthpiece and representative for non-football operations. He has overseen all business areas of the organization, stadium improvements and most recently led the franchise through the challenges created by the pandemic.
"I’m really proud of the way we have really developed into an organization that people look to with a lot of pride," he said.
Cass added that Bisciotti tasked him with finding his replacement from outside the organization. They did not hire a search firm.
Brown comes over from D.C. after three years as president of Monumental Basketball. There he oversaw the NBA’s Wizards, WNBA’s Mystics and G-League’s Go-Go. He has also served in the front offices of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns. He originally met Cass when he worked at his law firm in the early 2000’s.
"[I] will certainly have some big shoes to fill but I’m excited about the opportunity that he and Steve have afforded me here," said Brown.
The 45-year-old joined the Ravens about a month ago.
"Long term the sustained success is really the focus here," he said. "That has been the calling card of the Ravens and will continue to be."
Brown becomes only the second African-American team president in the National Football League. Washington's Jason Wright is the other. He feels that number needs to grow.
"To the extent that my example can certainly open up some doors, then great. But I hope it’s not contingent on the success of one individual," said Brown. "I think this is something that we as a league, we as an organization, need to be committed to regardless of your background."
Cass still has a week to go before Brown takes over. That transition becomes effective on April 1.