Leslie Frazier has risen to the pinnacle of his profession as a football coach – he’s the head coach of a National Football League team. And now Frazier will have the opportunity to help others begin a career in the NFL as a coach in similar fashion to how he began his NFL coaching career back in the 1990s.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced on Wednesday that the NFL has established the Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship Advisory Council to further enhance the idea conceived by late Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach Bill Walsh. Frazier, a coaching veteran of 25 years (14 of which have come in the NFL), has been named to the advisory council. The 13-member council – comprised of club presidents, general managers, head coaches and assistant coaches – will focus on developing a pipeline of minority coaches, including former NFL players pursuing opportunities in the coaching profession.
Walsh introduced the concept to expose talented minority college coaches to the NFL’s methods and philosophies when he invited a group of minority coaches to participate in San Francisco 49ers training camp. The program has mentored more than 1,500 minority coaches since it was established in 1987, and 91 minority coaches took part in this summer’s Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship.
Frazier is not the only current NFL head coach who graduated from the Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship. Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis, who earned NFL Coach of the Year honors from the Associated Press in 2009, interned with the San Francisco 49ers (1988) and Kansas City Chiefs (1991) and endorses the program.
“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.”
This past training camp, the Vikings welcome six coaches to the team as part of this program. They were: Junior Adams (Eastern Washington), Granville Eastman (Austin Peay), Darrell Fullington (St. Thomas Aquinas), Alex Jackson (Mississippi Valley State), Prince Pearson (Prairie View A&M), Ted White (Howard).
Also, the Vikings have three current assistant coaches on Frazier’s staff who are graduates of this program: QBs coach Craig Johnson, TEs coach Jimmie Johnson and RBs coach James Saxon.
The Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship Advisory Council consists of: Tampa Bay RBs coach Earnest Byner, Philadelphia WRs coach David Culley, Frazier, Arizona GM Rod Graves, Arizona OL coach Russ Grimm, Cleveland President Mike Holmgren, Houston Head Coach Gary Kubiak, Detroit GM Martin Mayhew, Kansas City GM Scott Pioli, Philadelphia Head Coach Andy Reid, Jacksonville GM Gene Smith, Houston GM Rick Smith and Arizona Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt.
Tags: Craig Johnson, James Saxon, Jimmie Johnson, Leslie Frazier
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The vikings.com team that consists of yours truly and videographer extraordinaire Jordan Struck has arrived in Indianapolis and we’re getting settled in to start bringing you non-stop and comprehensive coverage of the 2011 Scouting Combine from Lucas Oil Stadium.
Traveling from Minneapolis to Indianapolis on Delta Airlines was excellent and we arrived to our hotel, which is located just a few minutes walk from the stadium, right on schedule. Several Vikings personnel were on this morning’s flight, including special assistant to the head coach/LBs coach Mike Singletary, OL coach Jeff Davidson and assistant offensive line coach Ryan Silverfield, TEs coach Jimmie Johnson and a few others. The rest of the Vikings contingent has either already arrived or will be arriving over the next day or two.
Remember, not every player invited to the Combine arrives at the same time. The players are divided into their position groups and then those position groups come to the Combine on a staggered schedule. So that obviously impacts when certain assistant coaches arrive to do their work at the event.
I also spent quite a while visiting at the airport and in the cab ride to the hotel with former Vikings assistant coach Dean Dalton. A guy who spent a long time in the coaching profession, Dalton now takes his expertise to the air waves and is a host on Sirius NFL Radio. It’s chats with guys such as Dalton that really makes the Combine fun over the span of a few days. It’s routine to run into local and especially national football media members and it’s fun to get their opinions on certain matters.
That’s about it for now. Jordan and I are going to head to the stadium to film a quick segment and that will be made available to you for viewing in some form or another over then next 24 hours. We’ll have that and much, much more from the Combine so be sure to constantly check back to vikings.com and the vikings.com Blog for more.
Tags: 2011 NFL Draft, Jeff Davidson, Jimmie Johnson, Mike Singletary
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 28 Comments »