NFL Requiring All 32 Teams To Hire ‘Diverse Person’ To Serve As Offensive Assistant


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Beginning this upcoming season, all 32 NFL teams will be required to hire a “diverse person” to serve as an offensive assistant on their coaching staff.

The NFL announced Monday that the new rule is in place to improve diversity within the head coaching pipeline. The NFL’s definition of a diverse person is any “female or a member of an ethnic or racial minority.” This person must have at least three years of coaching experience at the collegiate or professional level to qualify.


The subject of minorities being considered for head coaching vacancies has been one of the main talking points during the NFL offseason. It was amplified after now Steelers defensive assistant Brian Flores accused the Giants of bringing him in for an interview when they already had a hire in place and Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offering to pay him more money to tank during the 2019 season when he was the head coach in Miami.

Adopted in 2003, the Rooney Rule contains the following guidelines:

  • Clubs must interview at least two diverse candidates from the Career Development Advisory Panel list, or a diverse candidate not currently employed by the club.
  • Clubs must conduct an in-person interview with at least one external minority candidate for any GM or head coaching interview.
  • Clubs must continue to consider multiple diverse candidates.
  • Clubs must maintain complete records and provide them to the league upon the Commissioner’s request.
  • If the final decision maker is involved from the beginning of the hiring process, they must be involved through the conclusion of the process.

In today’s update of the Rooney Rule, women are now included in every aspect of the rule and Zoom interviews will not satisfy the requirement.

During the latest hiring cycle, nine teams brought in new head coaches. Of the nine, the Dolphins’ Mike McDaniel and the Texans’ Lovie Smith were the only minorities hired. McDaniel told ESPN last month that he is biracial. As part of the NFL’s diversity development and hiring incentive program, the 49ers will receive a third-round pick in each of the next two drafts.

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