EAGAN, Minn. — Mike Pettine understands the problem. There is a lack of diversity among NFL coach. He was motivated to change it this spring.
Pettine in his first season as theA three-day coaching diversity summit was organized by the team's assistant coach this week at headquarters. The summit aimed to increase the number of diverse candidates for entry-level NFL positions. Roseana Smith, Oberlin College assistant coach, will lead 11 men and one women in mock interviews and practice OTA.
Pettine had originally planned to implement the initiative while he was still in high school.The 2020 defense coordinator, but it was scrapped after the COVID-19 pandemic. Pettine stated that the program's basic purpose is to provide a source of talent for the NFL.
Roger Goodell, the commissioner, regretted that the league was left with only five minority head coaches after a disappointing hiring cycle.The league “failed” to achieve its goals. The league established a Diversity Advisory Committee as well as the first hiring mandate in its Rooney Rule history. Since head coaches are mainly from the offensive end of the ball, the league requires each team to hire an ethnic candidate to be the offensive assistant for the 2022 seasons. Pettine stated that it's possible that the Vikings' coach could be one the 12 coaches who spend this week in Minnesota.
He stated, “This is a great chance to evaluate it.” “It wasn’t sold that way, so to come in and compete with for a place. It could easily become that.”
Recent years have seen some league-wide progress. According to league data, the league has named 15 minorities as its 2022 defensive coordinators. This is an NFL-record number. Minority coaches now account for 39% of the league's total, an increase from 35% in 2021. The league's record 12 women coaches are part of the coaching staff.
Pettine expressed concern about the ability to find and recruit qualified candidates given the rising salaries in college football. Pettine explained that to become an NFL coach in an entry-level role, a coordinator or position coach would likely have to take a significant pay cut. In the past, those coaches were reluctant to do this. Pettine's program targets college coaches who have experience as research analysts, quality control specialists, and graduate assistants. Most often, the NFL teams prefer to hire their own entry level coaches over college coordinators and position coaches.
Pettine stated that it is difficult to get someone in a job they haven’t been able to grow from within. It will take time. I could be on a beach somewhere sipping a margarita while being proud of those who made it in this class and maybe in the future. It's more of an idea that grows over time, and I think it's more grassroots.
Oberlin's Smith is not alone. Oberlin's Smith and Reggie Bain (Miami), Mark Cala, Cortez Carter(Florida State), Chili Dixon (FAMU), Kenji Jack (Arkansas), Courtney Love (“Kentucky”), Jeremy Modkins [TCU], Jordan Reid (Wake Forest), Ahmad Smith (“South Carolina”), Earnest Thomas (3) (Tennessee).