The NFL is being more bullish in its quest for coaching and executive office diversity. A memo from the organization revealed a seminar for 64 potential head coaching and general manager candidates is being planned at the annual spring owners meeting in Atlanta later this month.
The memo, which was reportedly sent to NFL team owners, coaches, and general managers on April 8, was obtained by ESPN. The two-day meeting is on May 23-24 and will reportedly feature networking opportunities for “diverse, prospective Club-nominated Head Coaching and General Manager prospects” with team owners and other high-ranking executives.
According to the memo, every NFL team will nominate two participants, “one from the coaching side and one from the player personnel side.”
Minority High-Potential Coach
Additionally, the memo asks that participants are “senior women and minority high-potential coach or player personnel” candidates. The league will produce sessions and programs intended to expand the knowledge base of the business of football for the group of 64. They will also discuss coaching techniques for the professional football level.
The final list of the 64 participants has reportedly not been completed yet.
In late March, for the 2022 season, each of the 32 NFL clubs is now required to hire a minority offensive assistant coach. According to the policy, the most significant change is that the offensive assistant coach hire can be “a female or a member of an ethnic or racial minority.”
The decision was announced at the special league meeting in Palm Beach, Florida. The NFL’s Workplace Diversity Committee rolled out the changes to “strengthen and enhance the effectiveness of the NFL’s Rooney Rule,” according to a statement from the NFL.
The NFL Annual League Meeting was held at The Breakers, Palm Beach, Florida, on March 27-30 for a much larger group that includes ownership, head coaches, and GMs who also attended the March meeting.
The May meeting will have a smaller group of owners.
The hope is to place them in a relaxed small group setting to expose the candidates and the decision-makers to one another for a get-to-know-you session to better their chances and present an inclusive environment.
The League hopes that diverse candidates and executives becoming familiar with each other will create better outcomes in future hiring cycles.
Back in March, the NFL announced the creation of the NFL Diversity Advisory Committee, following its pledge to retain outside experts to review the League’s diversity policies and practices in February.
The Diversity Committee
The six-member committee lent its expertise and external perspective on industry best practices and will evaluate league and club diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) strategies and initiatives, the NFL said via statement. This includes all hiring processes, policies, and procedures, primarily focusing on the senior-level coach and front office personnel positions.
After completing this evaluation, the committee will provide comprehensive recommendations to the league office and club ownership for consideration.
The memo reportedly says the initiative “aims to provide senior women and minority high-potential coach or player personnel exposure to Owners across the League to develop direct connections. Conversely, providing Owners the ability to engage with new prospects in a natural and personal way without violating the Anti-Tampering rule policies.”
Diversity In Action
The idea for the May meeting reportedly evolved from the feedback the league’s diversity committee received at the NFL Scouting Combine in March from candidates from the most recent coach/GM hiring cycle.
A glaring issue for many candidates was that the first time they ever met a team owner was when they interviewed for the job.