Last fall, longtime NFL executive Scott Pioli and his family established The Pioli Family Fund for HBCU Coaches and Scouts.
On Tuesday, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced that University of Miami recruiting coordinator Terry Jefferson and L.A. Rams scouting apprentice James Bullock III were selected as the endowed fund's first grant recipients.
Pioli, along with his wife, Dallas, and daughter, Mia, established the fund with the goal of creating more opportunities for men and women who have a desire to work in football and are affiliated with Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The grant money each candidate receives can be used for expenses related to their professional development.
"I am so thankful to be recognized by the Pioli Family Fund," said Jefferson, a graduate of Florida A&M University, per the news release. "This fund will also pave the way for me to create other opportunities for young African American coaches in this business who strive to make it to the highest levels of coaching football."
Bullock, a graduate of Winston-Salem State University, said the award demonstrates that those associated with football "are truly putting in the work for the HBCU community and trying to find different ways for our community to succeed within and around the game."
"Someday, I want to be able to say that I am an NFL scout," he continued, "and I can thank so many people for helping me get to this point – such as the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Pioli Family Fund."
According to the news release, the program "continues Scott's long association with the Black College Football Hall of Fame and the family's efforts to increase opportunities in the game across race and gender."