The NFL and NCAA are offering the fourth annual NFL-NCAA Coaches Academy that kicks off today in Phoenix. The three-day program (February 14-16), developed in 2011 by NFL Player Engagement and the NCAA, will provide 58 coaches/coaching prospects – including 18 NFL Legends and 10 current NFL players (list below) -- with tools and networking opportunities for potential careers as football coaches.
Many of the participants currently have high school or college coaching positions. The NCAA also invited football coaches who have less than eight years of college coaching experience to take part.
Arizona State University head coach Todd Graham will serve as the opening night keynote speaker. Additional keynote speakers for the program include Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and running backs coach Stump Mitchell, and NFL Network analyst and former Redskins and Texans general manager Charley Casserly.
"The NFL-NCAA Coaches Academy provides both current players and NFL Legends with a unique opportunity to learn from top coaches at every level of the game," said James Thrash, manager of NFL Player Engagement. "Our goal is to develop a professional pipeline of coaches who understand the NFL standard and transfer that knowledge of coaching skills, leadership, and character to players at all levels."
In keeping with NFL Player Engagement's industry leading peer-to-peer model, participants will gain knowledge and insight into the world of coaching from those who have been successful on the sidelines. Sessions will include instruction from NFL, college and high school coaches, business leaders and athletic administrators. Topics include how to build a personal and professional brand; managing budgets; successful networking; health and safety; media messaging; coaching contracts; building relationships in college; effective leadership; understanding the academic landscape; and the interview process. Participants also will experience mock interview sessions.
"Continuing the education of administrators and coaches can provide a better, more complete, experience for athletes, whether on campus or in the professional arena," said Dr. Bernard Franklin, NCAA executive vice president of membership and student-athlete affairs and chief inclusion officer. "The partnership with the National Football League has a positive impact on the sport and those charged with developing the game and its participants. The exposure of aspiring coaches to a collection of the top minds in football -- specifically on important topics such as financial literacy and mental health to the locker room culture -- is crucial now and in the future."'
The NFL partners with the NCAA on a number of additional initiatives including:
- The NFL-NCAA Champion Forum for those who have been identified as potential head coaches by college administrators, this program simulates the intercollegiate interview process from researching the position to their first staff meeting after becoming a head coach.
- The NFL-NCAA Future Football Coaches Academy for those who have recently completed their collegiate eligibility, and have a desire to enter the college football coaching profession.
- The NFL-NCAA Athletic Professionals Workshop shares best practices for the development of student-athletes through life skills education and professional development.
- The NFL-NCAA Life Skills Summit Round-table for Student-Athletes provides student-athletes with a forum to discuss the resources and support that they need in order to meet their personal and professional goals.
Following is a list of participants in the NFL-NCAA Coaches Academy:
-- NFL Communications