New York — The National Football League (NFL) successfully completed this year’s Bill Walsh and Nunn-Wooten Scouting Diversity Coaching Fellowships to continue its efforts to strengthen the diverse talent of the NFL. league. The Bill Walsh Diversity Grant had 171 fellows go through the initiative this year, while the Nunn-Wooten Exploration Grant had 28 fellows.
Named for the late Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach, the annual Bill Walsh Diversity Coaches Scholarship provides experience to outstanding coaches from diverse backgrounds. Coach Walsh first introduced this concept to the league in 1987 when he brought a group of minority coaches to the San Francisco 49ers’ training camp. Currently, the scholarship is designed as a vocational tool to increase the number of full-time minority NFL coaches within the League, while also exposing fellows to the methods and philosophies of the NFL coaching staff. .
In contrast, the Nunn-Wooten Scouting Fellowship provides NFL players, former football players, and college recruiting and personnel personnel with an on-site look at an NFL front office and insight into the skills needed for a career in career exploration. Established in 2015, the Nunn-Wooten Scouting Fellowship is named after NFL executives Bill Nunn and John Wooten, who were champions in establishing a strong legacy.
While both programs provided Scholars with in-person training within their respective clubs, Football Operations offered virtual programming throughout the summer to give Scholars the opportunity to hone their skills, enhance their knowledge of the game, and network with peers and mentors.
2022 Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Scholarship Virtual Speakers:
- Clint McMillan, Tennessee Titans (former 2021 Bill Walsh Scholar)
- Dan Williams, Kansas City Chiefs
- Aditya Krishnan, Los Angeles Chargers
2022 Nunn-Wooten Exploration Scholarship Virtual Speakers:
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- Ameena Soliman, Philadelphia Eagles
- Camren Williams, New England Patriots
New this year along with the Nunn-Wooten scholarship, the Minnesota Vikings launched the Gilliam-Reichow Staff Scholarship; a comprehensive program that creates opportunities for hands-on education for aspiring staff and scouting executives. The fellowship’s namesakes are Frank Gilliam, the Vikings’ former vice president of player personnel and one of the NFL’s first black scouts, and Jerry Reichow, a former Minnesota Vikings and Pro Bowl wide receiver who later went on to play a role. in the team’s front office, working with the club for five decades. Fellows in this particular program learned about player evaluation, scouting, film study, and data analysis.
“It has been a great honor for our team to launch the Gilliam-Reichow Staff Grant to work in conjunction with the impactful Nunn-Wooten Grant. Frank Gilliam and Jerry Reichow are two of the Vikings’ greatest story makers – Gilliam as one of the leading NFL first black scouts and Reichow as a Pro Bowl wide receiver who successfully transitioned into the front office,” said KWESI ADOFO-MENSAH, General Manager of the Minnesota Vikings. “This initiative is a great collaboration between our Legends, DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) and staff groups. It is vital to advocate for programs that can create opportunities and hands-on education for our Legends and diverse candidates who might not otherwise receive that education.” chance”.
Both the Bill Walsh Fellowship and the Nunn-Wooten Fellowship have provided relevant experience during the program’s tenure and a path to success for fellows upon completion. Upon completion of the 2021 Bill Walsh Scholarship, KJ Black was selected to coach in the 2022 East-West Shrine Bowl. Black recently joined the Los Angeles Rams as a full-time coach working with the quarterbacks for the 2022 season. Others 2021 fellows who coached in the Bowl Game included Na’Shan Goddard, Trumaine Watson and Rashad Watson. Additionally, Clinton McMillan, a member of the Tennessee Titans in 2021, earned a full-time position this year as the team’s defensive assistant.
“The Bill Walsh Coaching and Nunn-Wooten Fellowship programs serve as a significant opportunity to diversify our scouting and training staff. We currently have three people on our staff, trainers KJ Black and Jonathan Cooley, and scout Cedric Jones, who came to our team through this program,” said JACQUES MCCLENDON, Director of Football Affairs for the Los Angeles Rams. “General Manager Les Snead and Head Coach McVay are proud to provide our interns with the opportunity to gain an immersive experience that exposes them to our people and processes, while also exposing us to their talents. These initiatives are an essential recruiting tool to ensure we continue to acquire diverse and talented people who fit our culture and make us a better organization.”
Among the 2022 Nunn-Wooten Scholars, there were a total of five female participants – a record in program history.
For more information on the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Scholarship and the Nunn-Wooten Scouting Scholarship, visit Operations.nfl.com