BILL WALSH NFL MINORITY COACHING FELLOWSHIP
August 6, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
Established in 1987, the BILL WALSH NFL MINORITY COACHING FELLOWSHIP provides NFL training camp positions to minority coaches every year. The program, which was named after the man who conceived the idea – late Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach BILL WALSH (right) – exposes talented minority college coaches to the methods and philosophies of summer NFL training camps. Walsh introduced the concept to the league in 1987 when he brought a group of minority coaches into his San Francisco 49ers’ training camp.
Steelers head coach MIKE TOMLIN (left), who became the youngest head coach (36) in NFL history to win a Super Bowl when he led Pittsburgh to a victory in Super Bowl XLIII, interned with the Cleveland Browns in the summer of 2000 when he was the defensive backs coach at the University of Cincinnati.
Tomlin is one of three current NFL head coaches – MARVIN LEWIS (Cincinnati, below left) and LOVIE SMITH (Tampa Bay, below right) are the others – who are graduates of the program.
Smith, who interned with the Arizona Cardinals in 1988, is a huge endorser of the program.
“I had a terrific experience with the Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship and I am a big believer in what it can do for young college coaches who are searching for an avenue into our league,” says Smith. “As a participant in the program, I learned so much about what goes into the coaching business on the professional level. The experience and networking opportunities that I had during my time had a very big impact on my career path. Now, as a head coach, I have had the opportunity to hire some very talented coaches who participated in the program. I make it a point to ensure that our program offers those same valuable learning opportunities that meant so much to me during my fellowship.”
Carolina Panthers head coach RON RIVERA knows the value of the program and serves on the Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship Advisory Council. The council is comprised of club presidents, general managers, head coaches and assistant coaches, who focus on developing a pipeline of minority coaches, including former NFL players pursuing opportunities in the coaching profession.
“The Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship is essential in treating opportunities,” says Rivera. “You can see the benefits of the fellowship program on virtually every coaching staff in the league and the education provided through the program has been invaluable in the development of many young coaches who may not have received exposure to the NFL without it.”
The program has tutored more than 1,700 minority coaches through the years and has grown to the point that now every NFL team participates during training camp.
Active NFL head coaches who are graduates of the Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship:
2014 NFL MINORITY HEAD COACHES, ASSISTANT HEAD COACHES & COORDINATORS:
Teryl Austin, Detroit, Defense Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati, Head Coach
Keith Armstrong, Atlanta, Special Teams Anthony Lynn, New York Jets, Assistant Head Coach
Todd Bowles, Arizona, Defense Thomas McGaughey, New York Jets, Special Teams
Jim Caldwell, Detroit, Head Coach John Mitchell, Pittsburgh, Assistant Head Coach
Romeo Crennel, Houston, Defense Winston Moss, Green Bay, Assistant Head Coach
David Culley, Kansas City, Assistant Head Coach Ron Prince, Detroit, Assistant Head Coach
George Edwards, Minnesota, Defense Ron Rivera, Carolina, Head Coach
Perry Fewell, New York Giants, Defense Terry Robiskie, Atlanta, Assistant Head Coach
Leslie Frazier, Tampa Bay, Defense Richard Rodgers, Carolina, Special Teams
Harold Goodwin, Arizona, Offense Lovie Smith, Tampa Bay, Head Coach
Pep Hamilton, Indianapolis, Offense Dennis Thurman, New York Jets, Defense
Ray Horton, Tennessee, Defense Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh, Head Coach
Hue Jackson, Cincinnati, Offense Mel Tucker, Chicago, Defense