NFL News

NFL to host accelerator program at upcoming league meetings, aimed at increasing diversity in coaching ranks

NFL to host accelerator program at upcoming league meetings, aimed at increasing diversity in coaching ranks

For the third consecutive year, the NFL will host a few dozen coaches for its accelerator program that will run concurrently to the league meetings in Nashville next week.

Twenty-seven coaches from diverse backgrounds with a variety of NFL and college experience will take part in the program, which is aimed at increasing the diversity in the highest ranks of the NFL coaching profession.

The program will see the coaches interact with NFL team owners and decision-makers over the span of a few days while also engaging in programming geared toward their experience levels.

One of the biggest, and perhaps most surprising, names on the list of Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores.

The former Dolphins head coach from 2019 through 2021, Flores filed a class-action lawsuit in 2022 against the league and teams alleging racial discrimination. That lawsuit appears destined for league arbitration, according to a source.

Flores, who went 24-25 with the Dolphins over three years, did not get a head-coaching interview this past cycle. In April, he told reporters “there’s no way to know” whether his lawsuit impacted his chances. But he has said he hopes to be a head coach in the NFL again some day.

“I do the best I can where I’m at and wherever the chips fall, they fall,” Flores said in April. “That’s what I tell the players. If you prepare the right way and you do everything you can possibly do to have success, you’re going to have peace with that. You don’t always win. That’s the crazy thing about football.”

Jonathan Beane, the NFL’s Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, tells CBS Sports a panel of two head coaches, two general managers and four league executives helped choose the candidates this year. Nearly 80 coaches were nominated by teams, and that group invited nearly 40 coaches.

“He [Flores] was selected by his club because he’s a great coach and he’s done a great job,” Beane says. “He’s been a head coach before and this is the kind of opportunity where he’s able to engage with the clubs and ensure that he is in their mind if a decision needs to get made. Everyone on this list deserves to be on this list, especially Coach Flores.”

The league has adjusted its program curriculum over the years. In 2022, the league had both coach and GM candidates at its program in the spring. Since then, the NFL has split the programs: putting the GM candidates at the December…

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