NFL Summit Looks To Grow Diversity In Coaching Ranks
The NFL last week hosted a Quarterback Coaching Summit in Atlanta, and officials "decided to shift the focus of their second coaching summit to minority offensive talent across the nation," according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION. Over 50 coaches, college and pro execs from around the country "attended the two-day event and a book was compiled for NFL teams with bios of the coaches that some contended did not exist." NFL Exec VP/Football Operations Troy Vincent and Black College Football HOF co-Founders Doug Williams and James Harris helped run the event. The coaches in attendance exchanged "detailed information of NFL offensive trends." The summit was "designed to share information and philosophies with the goal of accelerating" the attendees' long-term goals and coaching aspirations (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 6/29).
MUCH WORK TO BE DONE: CBSSPORTS.com's Jason La Canfora noted the NFL through the summit is "trying to identify a pipeline of diverse coaches on the offensive side of the ball in the pro and college ranks who can hopefully rise to become head coaches themselves." Coaches and GMs "spoke frankly and passionately about the problems they face during the symposium, trying to address the issue at the grassroots level." The recent decision of former Vikings COO Kevin Warren, one of the "most prominent African-American front office executives in the NFL, to depart" to become Big Ten Commissioner was a "topic of private discussion at the summit as well." The topic "seems more timely now than ever," with former Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome "now in a reduced role." Vincent is "working closely" with former Cardinals GM Rod Graves, who left a position with the NFL to become Fritz Pollard Alliance Chair, which "oversees issues of diversity with the league, to try to curb the recent tide." One NFL team exec said, "If you look around the room at a league meeting, at who really represents each team, there just isn't much diversity. It really doesn't seem to change" (CBSSPORTS.com, 6/29).