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NFL announces new policies regarding coaching searches, Rooney Rule

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The NFL is making some significant changes on how coaching hires will be done in the future.

Detroit Lions Introduce Matt Patricia Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The NFL announced on Tuesday afternoon that they will be making big changes to their policy regarding coaching hires, including new stipulations for the Rooney Rule and diversity hires.

One of the biggest changes is that teams will no longer be able to block the interview of a positional coach when another team is looking to make a coordinator hire. Prior to this rule change, a move from position coach to coordinator was considered a lateral move, and therefore a team could block the interview request in an effort to keep their positional coach from getting poached. For example, in 2015, the Chicago Bears wanted to interview Jim Bob Cooter for their offensive coordinator position. At the time, Cooter was just the Lions quarterback coach, but the Lions denied the request anyways. Under these new rules, the Lions will no longer be able to block an interview like this.

This rule also applies to the assistant general manager position and teams’ scouting staffs, according to Albert Breer.

In addition to this, the NFL is also making some pretty significant changes to promote minority hires around the league. Those changes include (but are not limited to):

  • Teams are now required to interview at least two external minority candidates for a head coach job
  • Teams must interview at least one minority candidate for coordinator jobs
  • Teams must interview at least one external minority candidate for a senior football operations or general manager position

Also, all 32 teams will host a fellowship coaching program aimed towards minority candidates. The Lions already have a similar program in place, as Leon Washington is current listed as the team’s William Clay Ford Minority Coaching Assistantship/Offense.

You can read the NFL’s full release on policy changes right here: