SBD/December 2, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NFL Committee Focusing On Minority Hiring Set To Be De Facto Headhunter For Teams

Tony Dungy, l, is one of the few minorities named head coach in the NFL
An eight-person NFL committee focusing on minority hiring finalized its plan last week to address the issue by "compiling a double-digit list of candidates for both head coaches and general managers, going beyond the usual suspects," and the league now will essentially "provide the kind of service teams have been buying through headhunting firms," according to Peter King of THE MMQB. If an owner "calls wanting to know who the top offensive prospects are, the league will have a list of prospects to discuss with them." The league also will make available "the men they’d want to discuss the openings with anyway." NFL Chief HR Officer Robert Gulliver said, "The focus is not just the hot name. It’s identifying the new talent too." King notes the coaching list "will contain the top names" such as Stanford coach David Shaw and former Bears coach Lovie Smith, but also names such as ESPN's Jon Gruden and his younger brother, Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden. Other minority coaches who "got high marks from the committee" were Bears defensive coordinator Mel Tucker and Broncos running backs coach Eric Studesville. King: "Of course, owners don’t have to use the committee’s recommendation. Who knows if any will?" The system "works when owners and hirers go into the process with a truly open mind" (MMQB.SI.com, 12/2).
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