The NFL announced the coaching staffs for the 2018 East-West Shrine Game, including head coaches Jonathan Hayes of the Cincinnati Bengals and Bobby Johnson of the Oakland Raiders.
The NFL supplies the coaching staffs for the two teams from current league assistant coaches whose teams do not advance to the playoffs. The NFL also provides the officials for the contest.
Hayes, who will coach the East team, has spent the past 15 seasons (2003-present) as the Bengals’ tight ends coach. Over that time, his tight ends have contributed to the run-blocking efforts for eight 1,000-yard rushers and two of his players — Tyler Eifert and Jermaine Gresham — have earned Pro Bowl nods. A 12-year NFL veteran with the Kansas City Chiefs (1985-1993) and Pittsburgh Steelers (1994-96), Hayes appeared in 184 career games with 122 starts, recording 153 catches for 1,718 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Johnson, who will coach the West team, is a 23-year coaching veteran at the professional and collegiate levels and has spent the past three seasons (2015-17) as the Raiders’ tight ends coach. Prior to joining Oakland’s staff, Johnson spent five seasons with the Detroit Lions (2013-14), Jacksonville Jaguars (2013) and Buffalo Bills (2010-11). Johnson played tackle at Miami (Ohio), starting on the offensive line for three seasons from 1992-94.
“Our partnership with the NFL has once again given us two excellent NFL coaching staffs,” said Harold Richardson, executive director of the East-West Shrine Game. “Jonathan Hayes and Bobby Johnson are both outstanding coaches and certainly up-and-coming NFL head coaching prospects. They will be joined by coaching staffs with a combined 130 years of experience. It is not only a great opportunity for these coaches, it is also a great learning experience for our players as they prepare for their NFL careers.”
After the NFL regular season, teams nominated deserving assistant coaches who were reviewed by a panel of NFL Football Operations staff, East-West Shrine Game leadership and two members of the NFL’s General Managers Advisory Committee. Once the head coaches are selected, each then fills his 12-person staff from the other nominated NFL assistant coaches.
Nominated coaches must be active assistant coaches who display extraordinary teaching and communications skills, and are recognized for their integrity and commitment to excellence in coaching. The coaches must be accomplished at developing and preparing players to compete in the NFL.
The 93rd annual East-West Shrine Game, which features some of college football’s best prospects, will kick off at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 20, from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida and be televised live on NFL Network.
Some of football’s greatest players and coaches have participated in the East-West Shrine Game, the nation’s first college all-star football game. Created by the Shriners in 1925, the game supports Shriners Hospitals for Children in its mission to help children in need of expert medical care. Participating players visit the local Shriners Hospital, visiting children and staff in an experience that they will truly never forget.