A record 137 minority coaches took part in this year’s BILL WALSH NFL DIVERSITY COACHING FELLOWSHIP, the NFL announced today.

Established in 1987, the program provides NFL coaching experience to a diverse group of 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 – exposes talented minority college coaches, high school coaches, and former players to the methods and philosophies of NFL coaching staffs. Walsh introduced the concept to the league in 1987 when he brought a group of minority coaches into his San Francisco 49ers’ training camp.

The program has tutored more than 1,800 minority coaches through the years and has grown to the point that now every NFL team participates during offseason workout programs, minicamps and training camp.

In 2016, the program included its second female participant, KATIE SOWERS, who was one of seven coaching interns hired by the Atlanta Falcons for training camp.

Carolina Panthers head coach RON RIVERA knows the value of the program and serves on the Bill Walsh NFL Diversity CoachingFellowship 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 Diversity Coaching Fellowship is essential in creating 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.”

Former NFL cornerback NATHAN VASHER (2004-10) was among the participants. Vasher spent the summer with the Chicago Bears as he pursues a career in coaching.

“The experience was great,” says Vasher. “The NFL provides a great opportunity with the minority internship where you can get more guys into coaching and you can get an up close look at it; see the daily operations, see teams at an early stage as they are working towards a championship, so I’m really excited about the opportunity.”

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach MIKE TOMLIN, 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, is one of 59 full-time coaches on NFL staffs in 2016 who previously participated in the fellowship program. Tomlin interned with the Cleveland Browns in the summer of 2000 when he was the defensive backs coach at the University of Cincinnati.

“I learned so much from being able to participate in the Bill Walsh NFL Diversity Coaching Fellowship,” says Tomlin. “At the time, I was a young college coach, and I was given the opportunity to attend training camp and learn from NFL coaches. It was special. The fellowship gave me my first exposure to coaching in the NFL, and it solidified my dedication to wanting to become a coach in the National Football League.”

Tomlin is one of three current NFL head coaches – MARVIN LEWIS (Cincinnati) and HUE JACKSON (Cleveland) being the others – who are graduates of the program.

Active NFL head coaches who are graduates of the Bill Walsh NFL Diversity Coaching Fellowship:

Hue Jackson Cleveland 1990 with LA Rams; 1992 with Arizona, 1995 with Washington
Marvin Lewis Cincinnati 1988 with San Francisco; 1991 with Kansas City
Mike Tomlin Pittsburgh 2000 with Cleveland


Arizona Anthony Blevins Coaching Assistant/Special Teams
  Brentson Buckner Defensive Line
  Kevin Ross Cornerbacks
Atlanta Keith Armstrong Special Teams Coordinator
  Raheem Morris Asst. Head Coach/Wide Receivers
Baltimore Richard Angulo Tight Ends
  Clarence Brooks Sr. Defensive Assistant
  Bobby Engram Wide Receivers
  Chris Hewitt Defensive Backs
  Todd Washington Asst. Offensive Line
Buffalo Dennis Thurman Defensive Coordinator
Carolina Curtis Fuller Asst. Defensive Backs/Nickels
  Al Holcomb Linebackers
  Thomas McGaughey Jr. Special Teams Coordinator
  Richard Rodgers Asst. Defensive Backs/Safeties
  Eric Washington Defensive Line
Chicago Sam Garnes Asst. Defensive Backs
Cincinnati Marvin Lewis Head Coach
Cleveland Rock Cartwright Offensive Quality Control/Asst. Running Backs
  Hue Jackson Head Coach
Dallas Gary Brown Running Backs
  Leon Lett Defensive Tackles
Denver Samson Brown Asst. Defensive Backs
  Tony Coaxum Asst. Special Teams
  Eric Studesville Running Backs
  Tyke Tolbert Wide Receivers
Detroit        Teryl Austin Defensive Coordinator
  Robert Prince Wide Receivers
  Ron Prince Asst. Head Coach/Offensive Line
Houston Charles London Running Backs
  Anthony Pleasant Defensive Assistant
Indianapolis Gary Emanuel Defensive Line
Jacksonville  Ron Middleton Tight Ends/Asst. Special Teams
  Kelly Skipper Running Backs
  DeWayne Walker Defensive Backs
Kansas City David Culley Asst. Head Coach/Wide Receivers
  Al Harris Secondary/Cornerbacks
Los Angeles Clyde Simmons Asst. Defensive Line
Miami Dolphins Terrell Williams Defensive Line
New York Giants Dwayne Stukes Asst. Special Teams
Tim Walton Secondary/Cornerbacks
  Lunda Wells Asst. Offensive Line
New York Jets David Diaz-Infante Asst. Offensive Line
Karl Dorrell Wide Receivers
  Pepper Johnson Defensive Line
  Daylon McCutcheon Asst. Defensive Backs
Oakland Jethro Franklin Defensive Line
  Rod Woodson Asst. Defensive Backs
Philadelphia Duce Staley Running Backs
Pittsburgh James Daniel Tight Ends
  Carnell Lake Defensive Backs
  Mike Tomlin Head Coach
San Diego Marquice Williams Asst. Special Teams
  Ollie Wilson Running Backs
San Francisco Joe Bowden Inside Linebackers
  Curtis Modkins Offensive Coordinator
  Derius Swinton Special Teams Coordinator
Seattle Michael Barrow Linebackers
Tampa Bay Jay Hayes Defensive Line
Tennessee Nick Eason Defensive Line


Arizona Cardinals 8 Myron Bell (Former Player; North Carolina Elite Prep), Mike Grant (Mars Hill), Roderick Hood (Former Player), Mike Leach (Former Player), Byron Leftwich (Former Player), Isaac Redman, Jonathan Scott, Willie Williams (Former Player)
Atlanta Falcons 7 Andre Coleman (Former Player; Kansas State), Kennard Cox (Former Player), Aden Durde (Former Player), Mike Pelton (Former Player; Georgia Tech), Joe Salavea (Washington State), Katie Sowers (KC Titans), Bryant Young (Former Player)
Baltimore Ravens 2 Atif Austin (North Dakota State), Desmond Kitchings (Former Player; North Carolina State)
Buffalo Bills 8 Louie Aguiar (Former Player), Michael Bankston (Former Player), Timmy Chang (Former Player; Emory and Henry College), David Clowney (Former Player), Drew Coleman (Former Player), Jeremy Gold (Oracle Charter HS), Jordan Hogan (Buffalo State), Seth Joyner (Former Player)
Carolina Panthers 3 Jacques Cesaire (Former Player; San Diego), Tyrone Prothro (Alabama), Lance Smith (Former Player)
Chicago Bears 4 Thabiti Davis (Former Player; Winston-Salem State), Reggie Howard (Former Player; Lane College), Kevin Mawae (Former Player), Nathan Vasher (Former Player)
Cincinnati Bengals 2 Chris Crocker (Former Player), Kenneth Ray-Gardner (Webb University)
Cleveland Browns 4 Brian Braswell (Former NFL Quality Control Coach), Chris Clayborn (Former Player), Victor Hall (Former Player; Webber International University), Marlon McCree (Former Player)
Dallas Cowboys 4 Tashard Choice (Former Player), Cleo Lemon (Former Player; Pearl River CC), Otis Smith (Former Player), Michael Spurlock (Former Player; Coahoma CC)
Denver Broncos 2 Gerald Chatman (Elon University), Mike Locksley (University of Alabama)
Detroit Lions 4 Steve Fifita (Former Player; Idaho State University), Darren Garrigan (Texas A&M-Commerce), Sherrone Moore (University of Central Michigan), Anthony Parker (Former Player; Norfolk State University)
Green Bay Packers 3 Ken Amato (Former Player), Reggie Moore (Prairie View A&M University), Norries Wilson (Rutgers University; Former Interim HC)
Houston Texans 4 Marcus Freeman (Former Player; Purdue University), Jon Shelton (Southern Connecticut University), Keith Wagner (Former Player; Fayetteville State University), Norries Wilson (Rutgers University; Former Interim HC)
Indianapolis Colts 5 Keary Colbert (Former Player), Taver Johnson (Purdue University), Deland McCullough (Former Player; Indiana University), Vince Reynolds (Syracuse), Joel Taylor (Citadel University)
Jacksonville Jaguars 5 Shawn Bryson (Former Player), Bo Davis (Alabama University), Dexter Jackson (Former Player), Chad Lucas (Former Player), Leon Washington (Former Player)
Kansas City Chiefs 6 Nick Akaunaki (University of Utah), Chirs Naeole (Former Player; University of Hawaii), Jody Owens (UNLV), Samie Parker (Former Player), Cory Peoples (Former Player; South Carolina State University), Mikal Smith (Tampa Bay University)
Los Angeles 2 Tyrone McKenzie (Former Player; University of Colorado), John Rushing (Former Green Bay Quality Control Coach)
Miami Dolphins 4 Jason Brooks (Florida International University), Chris Chambers (Former Player), Patrick Cobbs (Former Player; Good Shepherd Episcopal HS), Tyrone Knott (De Pere HS)
Minnesota Vikings 4 Matthew Middleton (University of South Dakota), Singor Mobley (Former Player; College of the Desert), A.C. Patterson (Portland State University), Jake Zweig (University of Findlay)
New England Patriots 2 Troy Brown (Former Player), Sammy Morris (Former Player)
New Orleans Saints 3 Zack Dibenedetto (University of South Dakota), Leigh Torrence (Former Player), Marc Yellock (East Carolina University)
New York Giants 5 Henry Baker (Former Player; University of Delaware), Joe Dailey (Liberty University), Raasaan Haralson (Texas A&M University), Kenyatta McCoy (North Carolina Central University), Jason Swepson (Former Elon University HC)
New York Jets 5 Corey Ivy (Former Player), Donovan Jackson (Laredo Lobos, Chicago Rush), Marvin Jones (Former Player; Director of Pro Personnel, SoCal Coyotes), Erik McMillan (Former Player; Eastside High School) Kade Rannings (Former Participant)
Oakland Raiders 4 Benny Boyd (Central Washington University), Hurlie Brown (Former Player; University of Miami), Joshua Oglesby (Oregon State University), Nicholas Williams (Jacksonville State)
Philadelphia Eagles 5 Kiel McDonald (Eastern Washington University), Olitan Oguntodu (University of Northern Iowa), James Padgett (St. Augustine HS), Ryan Remiedio (Mercyhurst University), Wil Robinson (Samford University)
Pittsburgh Steelers 5 Terrence Austin (Former Player), Alan Faneca (Former Player), Shaun King (Former Player; University of South Florida), Jesse Thompson (Virginia Union University), Diamond Weaver (University of Rhode Island)
San Diego Chargers 4 Tremaine Jackson (University of Sioux Falls), Darrell McDonald (Iowa State University), Pisa Tinoisamoa (Former Player), Jamal Williams (Former Player)
San Francisco 49ers 5 Kenny Basset (University of Central Florida), Andre Carter (Former Player), Rashad Golpashin (University of Oregon), Romie Graham (Allegheny College), Anthony White (San Diego State University)
Seattle Seahawks 4 Ryan Crawford (Harvard University), Rashad Jackson (East Carolina University), Aristotle Thompson (Cal Poly), Rodrique Wright (Former Player; Sam Houston State University)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7 Gerald Alexander (Former Player; Montana State University), Keith Bhonapha (University of Washington), Antonio Bradford (Tennessee State University), Slyler Fulton (Grossmont College), Tony Gilbert (Former Player; University of North Carolina), Anthony Perkins (Ohio University), Mike Sims-Walker (Former Player)
Tennessee Titans 4 Israel Abraham (External NFL Scout (CLV)), Chad Brown (Former Player), Al Poree (De La Salle HS), Brent Pradie (Del Rio HS)
Washington Redskins 4 Jonathan Bradley (North Carolina Central University), William Henry (Siegal HS), Robb Johnson (Morgan State University), Clint Sintim (Former Player; University of Richmond)
* Norries Wilson (Green Bay and Houston) participated in the fellowship with multiple teams during offseason workout programs and training camp.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s