Arizona Cardinals general manager Rod Graves, offensive line coach Russ Grim and head coach Ken Whisenhunt have been named to the Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship Advisory Council on Wednesday.
They will be part of a 13-member council, made up of club presidents, general managers, head coaches and assistant coaches whose main focus is developing a pipeline for minority coaches, including former players trying to pursue a coaching position.
“It is imperative we continue to create opportunities, not only in coaching but in every other aspect of the league,” said Kansas City Chiefs general manager and Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship Advisory Council member Scott Pioli. “This fellowship program is important as long as we continue to teach and mentor individuals with one basic premise in mind – educate. I am a firm believer in the proverb of, ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.'”
Walsh introduced the idea to give minority college coaches firsthand NFL camp experience when he invited a group of minority coaches to participate in San Francisco 49ers’ training camp. Since that initial group more than 1,500 minority coaches have received real NFL training camp experience, including current head coaches Mike Tomlin, Lovie Smith, Leslie Frazier and Marvin Lewis.
“For a young coach, an opportunity through the fellowship is like a college student getting a great internship,” said Lewis. “Suddenly you’re exposed on a daily basis to some of the best people in your field, and you have a chance to show them first-hand what you can do.”
Over the summer, 91 minority coaches took part in this year’s Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship.
The Arizona Cardinals welcomed Robert Morris assistant coach Matt Grayson, Glenwood H.S line coach Ed King and Nikolas McKissic of Benedict to training camp to participate in this year’s program.