Steelers coaches Frisman Jackson and Teryl Austin will participate in the NFL’s Coach Accelerator Program from May 21st to May 23rd at the Spring League Meetings in Minneapolis, the NFL announced on Wednesday.
The NFL Coach Accelerator Program is meant to increase the exposure of candidates to owners, general managers, executives, and others in the hiring process as a way for minority coaches to build relationships with those in the hiring process. The aim of the process is to increase diversity among head coaching and key coordinator hires in the future.
Last year, Steelers wide receivers coach Frisman Jackson was the only representative for the team. He will attend this year as well, being one of the 40 candidates selected based on his ‘high potential’ to be considered for a head coaching position in the future.
Meanwhile, Steelers defensive coordinator Teryl Austin is a new addition to this list after not attending last year. A veteran coordinator in the league, Austin could jump to being a head coaching candidate with another strong year behind the helm of Pittsburgh’s defense. Last year when the program was created, Roger Goodell believed it could be a key step in helping minority coaches rise up the ranks quicker.
“The NFL is committed to diversity and inclusion, and this program is the latest in a series of steps designed to improve our hiring practices and create opportunities for advancement,” Goodell said. “The program helps ensure that clubs receive exposure to high-performing, up-and-coming NFL talent and candidates get a chance to learn the business on a working level from team owners and executives.”
As part of the NFL’s commitment to increased diversity in coaching and executive ranks, the accelerator program will provide leadership development sessions, discussion groups, and networking opportunities. There is also an equal program for front office members to help the diversity in the front office as well.