NEW YORK (Aug. 24, 2006) -- A record 86 minorities took part in this summer's NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship Program in the 25th year of the program's existence, the NFL announced.
Also this year, the Minority Coaching Program produced its first graduate to be named head coach of the team where he interned.
The graduate is new Kansas City Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards, who interned with the team in 1989. In 2001, he became the first graduate of the program to be named an NFL head coach when he was appointed by the New York Jets.
"I am a head coach in the NFL today because of the opportunity the Coaching Fellowship provided me," says Edwards. "The program is really the thing that jump-starts your career. It really worked perfectly for me. I was in the right place at the right time."
Two other NFL head coaches are graduates of the program -- Marvin Lewis of Cincinnati and Lovie Smith of Chicago.
The fellowship, instituted by the NFL in 1981, provides training-camp coaching positions for minority coaches at NFL clubs. More than 1,000 minority coaches have participated since the program's inception.
The fellowship had additional head-coaching success this past offseason. Two of its graduates were appointed head coaches in colleges and another received a lengthy contract extension.
Ron Prince, who participated in the program for four years in the late '90s, was appointed head coach of Kansas State and believes the fellowship was of immeasurable help to him.
"The NFL Fellowship Program was invaluable for me," says Prince, who appointed another fellowship grad, Raheem Morris, as his defensive coordinator. "The program gave me a great understanding of how to put an organization together. I was exposed to everything from the position coaches to the scouting departments to the general managers and I studied every aspect of it. In the end, it gave me the opportunity to advance past where I might have been as a coach at that particular point."
Joining Prince as a fellowship grad in the college head-coaching ranks this year is Norries Wilson at Columbia University, who was appointed last December. Wilson spent three summers with NFL clubs in the 1990s and, like Prince, says the program was a big help to his career.
"All three of my internships were great experiences," says Wilson. "They were at different points in my career. I learned a lot about the game, particularly at the NFL level, and a lot about football administration. It was very valuable for me."
Yet another fellowship graduate who is now a college head coach, Karl Dorrell of UCLA, recently received a contract extension through the 2010 season. He took the Bruins to a 10-2 record last year.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden, who had three minority coaches in his camp this summer, believes in the program's efficacy.
"The coaches come in to learn and be a second sound for our players, whether that's encouraging them or talking about basic fundamentals or techniques that maybe they've used," says Gruden. "They help with team enthusiasm and in a lot of ways that might not be so glamorous. I really love the program."
The following is a list of some NFL coaches who have participated in the NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship Program:
|NFL GRADUATES OF NFL MINORITY COACHING FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM|
|Atlanta||Ollie Wilson||Running backs|
|Baltimore||Dennis Thurman||Defensive backs|
|Buffalo||Eric Studesville||Running backs|
|Tyke Tolbert||Wide receivers|
|Chicago||Don Johnson||Defensive line|
|Lovie Smith||Head coach|
|Cincinnati||Jay Hayes||Defensive line|
|Hue Jackson||Wide receivers|
|Marvin Lewis||Head coach|
|Denver||Thomas McGaughey||Ass't. special teams|
|Green Bay||Ty Knott||Off. quality control|
|Houston||Martin Bayless||Ass't. defensive backs|
|Indianapolis||Gene Huey||Running backs|
|Kansas City||Herman Edwards||Head coach|
|James Saxon||Running backs|
|Miami||Keith Armstrong||Special teams|
|Bo Davis||Ass't. strength & conditioning|
|New England||Pepper Johnson||Defensive line|
|New Orleans||Tony Oden||Def. ass't./secondary|
|N.Y. Giants||Andre Curtis||Def. quality control|
|Oakland||Robert Ford||Off. quality control|
|Darryl Sims||Ass't. defensive line|
|Philadelphia||Mike Reed||Def. ass't. quality control|
|Pittsburgh||James Daniel||Tight ends|
|San Diego||Wayne Nunnely||Defensive line|
|San Francisco||Gary Emanuel||Defensive line|
|Johnnie Lynn||Defensive backs|
|Tampa Bay||Jethro Franklin||Defensive line|
|Ron Middleton||Tight ends|
|Art Valero||Ass't. head coach|
|Tennessee||Sherman Smith||Ass't. head coach/running backs|
|2006 NFL MINORITY COACHING FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM|
|CLUB||COACH (BACKGROUND & PRESENT AFFILIATION)|
|Arizona||James Harris (Former NFL player), George Hawthorne (Former NFL player), Chris Walsh (Former NFL player)|
|Atlanta||Ashley Ambrose (Former NFL player), Rodney Bivens (UAB), Natrone Means (Former NFL player), Tom Williams (San Jose State)|
|Baltimore||Bernardo Harris (Former NFL player), Chris Hewitt (Rutgers)|
|Buffalo||Steve Little (Trinity International), Adrian White (NFLEL, Former NFL player)|
|Carolina||Lonnie Galloway (Appalachian State), Charles Jones (NFLEL), Richard Shelton (Florida A&M, Former NFL player)|
|Chicago||Robbie Long (DePauw), Chris Wilson (Oklahoma)|
|Cincinnati||Stan Davis (Grand Rapids Rampage-AFL)|
|Cleveland||John Allen (NFLEL), Jimmy Lindsey (Gardner-Webb)|
|Dallas||Larry Brinson (Former NFL player), Steve Smith (Unaffiliated)|
|Detroit||Malik Hall (Fordham), EJ Jones (Aurora, Former NFL player), Marcel Yates (Boise State)|
|Green Bay||Gary Brown (Susquehanna, Former NFL player), Chris Simpson (Wisconsin-White Water)|
|Houston||Perry Carter (NFLEL, Former NFL player), Henry Frazier (Prairie View A&M), Manny Martinez (Texas Southern), Michael Sinclair (West Texas A&M, Former NFL player)|
|Indianapolis||Eugene Rafael Robinson (Former NFL player), Detron Smith (Former NFL player), David Kelly (Duke)|
|Jacksonville||William Bell (Edward Waters College, Former NFL player), Cheston Blackshear (Columbia), Rick Comegy (Jackson State)|
|Kansas City||Kimble Ambers (Avila College, Former NFL player), William Jones (Pearl River CC), Wandja Muller (NFLEL coach, NFLEL inern)|
|Miami||Cornell Brown (NFLEL, Former NFL player), Cris Dishman (Former NFL player), Eric Green (Former NFL player)|
|Minnesota||Henry Lusk (Weber State, Former NFL player), Kanavis McGhee (NFLEL, Former NFL player), Corey Raymond (LSU, Former NFL player)|
|New England||Fred Baxter (Former NFL player), Otis Smith (Former NFL player),|
|New Orleans||Andrew Dees (Temple, Former NFL player), Tim Watson (Former NFL player)|
|N.Y. Giants||Fred Armstrong (Unaffiliated)|
|N.Y. Jets||George McDonald (Western Michigan), Sean Spencer (Hofstra)|
|Oakland||Radames Carrillo (International - Mexico), David Duggan (NFLEL), Patrick Esume (NFLEL), Derek Mason (Ohio University), Cedric Pearl (Alabama A&M), Tang Hai-Yan (International - China)|
|Philadelphia||Eugene Chung (Former NFL player), Frank Gonzalez (Monterey Tech), Alonzo M. Hampton (Arkansas-Pine Bluff), Willie Taggart (Western Kentucky), Chris Vaughn (Arkansas)|
|Pittsburgh||Kedrick "Ricky" Brumfield (Fairmont State), James Martin, Jr. (Alabama A&M), Curtis Modkins (Georgia Tech)|
|St. Louis||Thomas Balkcom (Central Florida), Ron Cox (Lake Forest College), James Lott (Independence College),|
|San Diego||Marvin Marshall (Former NFL player), Wilfred Martin (College of the Desert), Thurmond Moore (Unaffiliated), Larry Porter (LSU)|
|San Francisco||Eugene Lockhart (Former NFL player), Broderick Thomas (Former NFL player)|
|Seattle||Shelton Gandy (Louisiana Tech), O'Neill Gilbert (Unaffiliated)|
|Tampa Bay||Shawn Gregory (Samford), Tracy Rocker (Arkansas, Former NFL player), Tyrone Wheatley (Former NFL player)|
|Tennessee||Granville Eastman (Austin Peay State), Lemanski Hall (Christ Presbyterian Academy, Former NFL player)|
|Washington||Michael Bryant (Prairie View A&M), Corey Chamblin (NFLEL, Tennessee Tech), Eddie Robinson, Jr. (Former NFL player), Erik Ware (College of DuPage)|
|NFLEL = NFL Europe League|