STEELERS' TOMLIN LATEST HEAD-COACH GRAD, JOINING EDWARDS, LEWIS AND SMITH
Eighty-three minorities are taking part in this summer's NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship Program, the NFL announced today.
Also this year, the Minority Coaching Program produced its fourth graduate to be named an NFL head coach.
Tomlin definitely feels that the fellowship prepared him for his new job. "The coaching fellowship gave me an opportunity to learn what I needed to do if I wanted to coach in the NFL," he says. "As a head coach, I plan to utilize the fellowship to the fullest to give others the same opportunities that were afforded to me."
The fellowship provides training-camp coaching positions for minority coaches at NFL clubs. More than 1,200 minority coaches have participated in the program.
Tomlin's ascension was just one of many notable appointments for minority coaches and administrators - some with fellowship experience -- in the NFL and colleges in the offseason:
» RANDY SHANNON became the first African-American head coach of the Miami Hurricanes. Shannon, a linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys in 1989-90, participated in two minority fellowships as an assistant with Miami - with Dallas in 1993 and Chicago in 1994.
» JERRY REESE was named only the New York Giants' third general manager in the past 27 years. The team's director of player personnel, he learned of his elevation on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (January 15). "I thought about that a lot, and it was perfect timing," says Reese.
Following is a list of some NFL coaches who have participated in the NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship Program: