The NFL will host a seminar for 64 potential head coaches and general managers at its spring owners meeting in Atlanta later this month to address diversity issues in its front office and coaching ranks.
ESPN obtained a memo from ESPN that was sent to NFL head coaches, GMs, and owners on April 8. The two-day meeting will be held May 23-24 and include networking opportunities for potential Head Coach and General Manager candidates, as well as team owners and other high-ranking executives.
According to the memo, each NFL team will nominate 2 participants. One from the coaching side, and one from players personnel. According to the memo, those participants must be senior women or minority high-potential coaches or player personnel candidates. Sources say that the 64-strong group will be attending sessions and programs to learn more about the business of football as well as discuss coaching techniques.
The program's main purpose is to allow minority candidates to be interviewed for the head coach and GM positions. The league's diversity committee received feedback from candidates who had been successful in the previous coach/GM hiring cycle. Some of those candidates shared with the committee that their first encounter with a team owner was during an interview.
In May, the league's annual meeting features a smaller group than the March one. This is due to the fact that the owners and team presidents are not present at the March meeting. It is hoped that candidates and decision-makers can get to know each others better in a relaxed setting.
According to the memo, the initiative “aims at providing senior women and minor high-potential coaches or player personnel exposure to Owners across League to establish direct connections.” Owners will also be able to interact with new prospects in an informal and personal manner, without violating Anti-Tampering rules policies.
According to sources, 64 participants are still on the final list as of this writing.