Coach Walsh knew the power of networking. Networking allows people to get to know one another, build trust, share goals and aspirations. Networking, especially as it relates to NFL front office and coaching positions, is key to matching experience, skill sets and trust with a very limited number of job opportunities.
Networking, along with strong relationship management, is currency for professional mobility. It is a key component of the NFL's Football Inclusion Plan that integrates networking with pipeline development, individual professional development, education, club and league diversity, equity and inclusion plans, and data collection and reporting to measure progress. These components combine to form the NFL's long-term efforts to promote fair and inclusive hiring practices.
At the Spring League Meeting in May, networking will be the centerpiece of a two-day event aimed at improving inclusion of minority and female candidates for head coaching and general manager positions. Each club has nominated two rising prospects, one for each position, to participate in a networking and development experienceship providing access to club owners, education on the business of football and discussions on how to take the next step in becoming a head coach or general manager. This is also an opportunity for future football personnel to get to know each other better, thereby improving hiring opportunities when the coach or front office personnel themselves are in the position to hire.
The intended results from the sessions for these high-performing coaches and front office personnel include increasing club exposure to the up-and-coming NFL talent; allowing personnel and clubs to get to know one another and develop stronger relationships; obtaining a deeper understanding of the business side of the NFL; and learning specific challenges related to the role of head coach or general manager.