Gene Smith has been named to an NFL council promoting hiring of minority coaches.
Smith, in his fourth season as the Jaguars’ general manager, has been named to the Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship Advisory Council, which further enhances an idea conceived by the late Hall of Fame head coach.
Walsh introduced the concept of exposing talented minority college coaches to NFL methods by inviting minority coaches to participate in 49ers training camp while he was the head coach at San Francisco.
Smith is one of 13 members of the advisory council, comprised of club presidents, general managers, head coaches and assistant coaches, which will focus on developing a pipeline of minority coaches, including former NFL players pursuing opportunities in the coaching profession.
Ninety-one minority coaches took part in this summer’s Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship, according to the NFL. The program has mentored more than 1,500 minority coaches since it was established in 1987.
According to the NFL, the council will meet regularly to recommend league-wide best practices in “selection criteria for fellowship candidates, standardization of program elements and tracking results for future improvements.”
The 13 members of the council are Smith, Buccaneers running backs coach and former Jaguars coach Earnest Byner, Lions General Manager Martin Mayhew, Eagles wide receivers coach David Culley, Chiefs General Manager Scott Pioli, Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier, Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid, Cardinals General Manager Rod Graves, Cardinals offensive line coach Russ Grimm, Texans General Manager Rick Smith, Browns President Mike Holmgren, Cardinals Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt and Texans Head Coach Gary Kubiak.
Jaguars assistant secondary coach Marlon McCree and secondary coach Tony Oden are graduates of the fellowship. The Jaguars had four coaches in the program this season: Chenniss Berry Jr. (Howard), Will Martin (New Mexico State), Cory Moore (Lakewood H.S.) and Tory Woodbury (Delaware State).