A record 144 minority coaches took part in this year’s Bill Walsh NFL Diversity Coaching Fellowship, including 43 former NFL players and a record five female coaches.

Established in 1987, the Bill Walsh NFL Diversity Coaching Fellowship provides NFL coaching experience to a diverse group of participants every year. The program — conceived of and named after the late Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach Bill Walsh — exposes talented minority college and high school coaches and former players to the methods and philosophies of NFL coaching staffs. Walsh introduced the concept to the league in 1987 when he brought a group of minority coaches into his San Francisco 49ers’ training camp.

The program has tutored nearly 2,000 minority coaches and has grown to the point that now every NFL team participates during offseason workout programs, minicamps and training camp.

In 2017, the program included a record five female participants — Odessa Jenkins (Atlanta), Phoebe Schecter (Buffalo), Collette Smith (New York Jets), Stephanie Balochko (Pittsburgh) and Katie Sowers (San Francisco).

Sowers, who participated in the program with Atlanta in 2016, was hired by the 49ers as a seasonal offensive assistant, becoming the second full-time female assistant coach in league history.

Los Angeles Chargers first-year head coach and program graduate Anthony Lynn began considering coaching as a viable post-career option following a conversation with Walsh during his playing career.

“He started talking to me about coaching,” said Lynn. “He said, ‘I’ve identified you as a coach in the NFL and I want to tell you about my program for minority coaches.’ And we begin this talk about coaching. I had never thought about coaching before but that’s where the seed was planted. From that moment on, every team meeting I sat in, I starting taking notes like a coach, I started preparing like a coach.”

Lynn is one of four current NFL head coaches — Marvin Lewis (Cincinnati), Hue Jackson (Cleveland) and Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh) being the others — who are graduates of the program.

“I had the opportunity to work in this program when Coach Walsh initiated it with the 49ers, and it’s great to see it continue as strong as it is,” said Lewis. “We are happy to bring coaches in to benefit our staff as well as aid in their development as a coach.”

Active NFL head coaches who are graduates of the Bill Walsh NFL Diversity Coaching Fellowship:

Hue Jackson Cleveland 1990 with LA Rams; 1992 with Arizona, 1995 with Washington
Marvin Lewis Cincinnati 1988 with San Francisco; 1991 with Kansas City
Anthony Lynn Los Angeles Chargers 2000 with Denver
Mike Tomlin Pittsburgh 2000 with Cleveland

2017 Bill Walsh NFL Diversity Coaching Fellowship Participants

Arizona Cardinals 6 Martin Bayless (Former Player), Myron Bell (Former Player; North Carolina Elite Prep), Plaxico Burress (Former Player), Cris Dishman (Former Player), Tommy Kelly (Provine HS), Greg Liberty (Nashville HS)
Atlanta Falcons 7 Aden Durde (Former Player), Odessa Jenkins (Dallas Elite Women’s Football), Kevin Mawae* (Former Player), Robbie Picazo (Stanford), Lance Schulters (Former Player), Darnell Stapleton* (Former Player; Bucknell), Jonathan Webster (Northwest Mississippi CC)
Baltimore Ravens 7 Alex Atkins (Tulane), Brian Bratton (Furman), Don Davis (Calvert HS), Matthew Hewitt (Rutgers), Corey Ivy (Former Player), Adalius Thomas (Former Player), Tom Sims (Pittsburgh)
Buffalo Bills 4 Byron Thomas (Alfred State), Kade Rannings*, Phoebe Schecter, Lonnie Teasley (New Haven)
Carolina Panthers 3 Aaron Curry* (Former Player; North Carolina), Travelle Wharton (Former Player), Addison Williams (Furman)
Chicago Bears 3 Kevin Vickerson (Former Player); Todd Washington (Former Player/Coach), Matt Willis (Former Player)
Cincinnati Bengals 5 Jonathan Carr (Clark Atlanta), Aaron Curry* (Former Player; North Carolina), LeVon Kirkland (Former Player), Rod Plummer (Florida A&M), Tory Woodbury (Johnson C. Smith)
Cleveland Browns 4 Harrison Bernstein (Georgetown), JoLonn Dunbar (Former Player), Glenn Holt (St. Thomas Aquinas HS), John Tomlinson (Cedar Hill HS)
Dallas Cowboys 3 Ken Amato (Tennessee State), Siriki Diabate (Middle Tennessee), Andre Gurode (Former Player)
Denver Broncos 3 Jovon Bouknight (Utah State), Toure Carter* (Stanford), Jake Zweig (Findlay)
Detroit Lions 4 Antonio Bradford (Tennessee State), Michael Ghobrial (Tarleton State), Keith Gilmore, Aristotle Thompson (Cal Poly)
Green Bay Packers 3 Brandon Jackson (Former Player; Tusculum College), Kade Rannings*, Vic So’oto (Former Player; Virginia)
Houston Texans 3 Olindo Mare (Former Player), Layymarr Marshall (Davidson), Brandon Shelby (Indiana)
Indianapolis Colts 6 Jason Brooks (FIU), Marco Butler (Catawba College), Mayur Chaudhari (Hawaii), Andre Coleman (Kansas State), Jordan Hogan (Stonehill College), Nathan Vasher (Former Player; Lake Forest HS)
Jacksonville Jaguars 2 Aaron McGinty (Millsaps College), LaDarrius M. Stallings (Kentucky Wesleyan)
Kansas City Chiefs 8 Derrick Alexander (Former Player; Avila), Erik Frazier, Jr. (Northwestern), Darren Garrigan (Texas A&M Commerce), Jarrod James (North Carolina), Michael Pitre (Montana State), Cyrus Satoafaiga (Utah), Anthony Tuioti (California), Michael Vick (Former Player)
Los Angeles Chargers 5 Ranier Caldwell (Mississippi Valley State), Stacey Dillard (Former Player), Donovan Jackson (Savannah State), Mark James (Virginia Union), Stephen Thomas (Princeton)
Los Angeles Rams 4 Jeff Burrow (Kent State), Marvin Sanders, Don Shumpert (Iowa), Brandon Smith (East Texas Baptist)
Miami Dolphins 5 Andre Bly (Former Player), Andre’ Goodman (South Carolina), Derron Montgomery (Abilene Christian), Damaso Munoz (Former Player), Troy Walters (Central Florida)
Minnesota Vikings 7 Brian Anderson, Ray Betton (Shakopee HS), Tony Gilbert (North Carolina), Kevin Mawae* (Former Player), Noel Scarlett (Former Player), Anthony White (San Diego State), Scott White (UCLA)
New England Patriots 1 Cameron Clemmons (Tennessee)
New Orleans Saints 2 Andre Bly (Former Player), Doug Williams III
New York Giants 6 Charlie Ayro (McNeese State), DeMarcus Covington (Tennessee Chattanooga), Julius McNair (Tennessee Martin), Damon Nivens (Arkansas Pine Bluff), Greg Richmond (Fairmont State), Lewis Walker (Sacred Heart)
New York Jets 4 Chad Brown (Former Player), Terrence Flagler (Former Player), Collette Smith (New York Sharks), Ronald Talley (Former Player; Wayne State)
Oakland Raiders 4 Will Harris (Former Player; San Jose State), Steven King (Bucknell), Sherrone Moore (Central Michigan), Moe Williams (Former Player; Kentucky)
Philadelphia Eagles 5 Marco Coleman (Former Player), Art Hoomiratana (Utah), Trent Miles, Willie Ponder (Former Player; Colorado Mesa), Dominique Rogers (US Coast Guard Academy)
Pittsburgh Steelers 6 Stephanie Balochko (Women’s American Football Team), Cornelius M. Coleman II (Robert Morris), Harlen T. Jacobs (Notre Dame College), Anthony Leonard (Indiana University of Pennsylvania), Darnel Richardson (Duquesne), Christopher Joshua Wilson (Former Player; Flint HS)
San Francisco 49ers 7 Alonzo Carter (San Jose State), Nick Ferguson (Former Player), Jerrod Johnson (St. Thomas (TX) HS), Rony Sieperda, Katie Sowers (USA Football Committee), Donald White (Laney College (CA)), Rodrique Wright (Sam Houston State)
Seattle Seahawks 4 Benny Boyd (Central Washington), Trevor Gentry (Camas HS), Damione Lewis (Former Player), Don Willis (Former Player; Santa Barbara City College)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7 Brian Anderson, Derrius Bell (UTEP), Marvin Clecidor (Princeton), Kerry Joseph (McNeese State), Stephen Nicholas (Former Player), Garrett Robinson (San Diego), Darnell Stapleton* (Bucknell)
Tennessee Titans 7 Brian Anderson, Bokowski Daniels (Albany State), Chad Lucas (Alabama State), Rocky McIntosh (The Flint HS), Tyrone Nix (Texas A&M), Darren Paige (Holy Cross), Thad Ward (Illinois)
Washington Redskins 6 Zohn Burden (Virginia Tech), Tarence Calis (East Texas Baptist), Toure Carter* (Stanford), Glenn Ford (i-Dare U Academy), Jonathan Ramos (Towson), Jeff Sawyer (Mississippi Valley State)

*Brian Anderson (Tampa Bay, Tennessee), Andre Bly (Miami, New Orleans), Toure Carter (Denver, Washington), Aaron Curry (Carolina, Cincinnati), Kevin Mawae (Atlanta, Minnesota), Kade Rannings (Buffalo, Green Bay) and Darnell Stapleton (Atlanta, Tampa Bay) participated in the fellowship with multiple teams during offseason workout programs and training camp.

2017 NFL Coaches Who Are Graduates of Bill Walsh NFL Diversity Coaching Fellowship:

Arizona Cardinals Anthony Blevins Coaching Assistant/Asst. Special Teams
Brentson Buckner Defensive Line
Byron Leftwich Quarterbacks
Kevin Ross Cornerbacks
Atlanta Falcons Keith Armstrong Special Teams Coordinator
Raheem Morris Asst. Head Coach/Wide Receivers/Passing Game Coord.
Baltimore Ravens Richard Angulo Asst. Offensive Line
Chris Hewitt Secondary
Chris Horton Asst. Special Teams
Buffalo Bills David Culley Quarterbacks
Jimmy Salgado Defensive Assistant
Carolina Panthers Curtis Fuller Defensive Backs
Al Holcomb Linebackers
Thomas McGaughey Jr. Special Teams Coordinator
Richard Rodgers Asst. Defensive Backs/Safeties
Eric Washington Defensive Line
Chicago Bears Curtis Modkins Running Backs
Ben Wilkerson Asst. Offensive Line
Cincinnati Bengals Marvin Lewis Head Coach
Jacob Burney Defensive Line
Cleveland Browns Hue Jackson Head Coach
Clyde Simmons Defensive Line
Dewayne Walker Defensive Backs
Kirby Wilson Running Backs/Run Game Coordinator
Dallas Cowboys Gary Brown Running Backs
Leon Lett Defensive Tackles
Denver Broncos Eric Studesville Asst. Head Coach/Running Backs
Detroit Lions Teryl Austin Defensive Coordinator
Tony Oden Defensive Backs/Corners
Robert Prince Wide Receivers
Ron Prince Asst. Head Coach/Offensive Line
Houston Texans Charles London Running Backs
Indianapolis Colts Gary Emanuel Defensive Line
Jacksonville Jaguars Perry Fewell Secondary
Keenan McCardell Wide Receivers
   Ron Middleton Tight Ends
Tyrone Wheatley Running Backs
Kansas City Chiefs Al Harris Secondary/Cornerbacks
Los Angeles Chargers Anthony Lynn Head Coach
Marquice Williams Asst. Special Teams
Los Angeles Rams Skip Peete Running Backs
Miami Dolphins Andre Carter Asst. Defensive Line
Minnesota Vikings Darrell Hazell Wide Receivers
Andre Patterson Defensive Line
Robert Rodriguez Asst. Defensive Line
New Orleans Saints Leigh Torrence Defensive Asst.
New York Giants Adam Henry Wide Receivers
Dwayne Stukes Asst. Special Teams
Tim Walton Secondary/Cornerbacks
Lunda Wells Asst. Offensive Line
New York Jets David Diaz-Infante Asst. Offensive Line
Karl Dorrell Wide Receivers
Daylon McCutcheon Asst. Defensive Backs
Oakland Raiders Jethro Franklin Defensive Line
Rod Woodson Asst. Defensive Backs
Philadelphia Eagles Duce Staley Running Backs
Pittsburgh Steelers Mike Tomlin Head Coach
   James Daniel Tight Ends
San Francisco 49ers Tem Lukabu Defensive Quality Control
Vince Oghobaase Asst. Defensive Line
Seattle Seahawks Michael Barrow Asst. Head Coach/Defense/Linebackers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Skyler Fulton Offensive Assistant
Jay Hayes Defensive Line
Anthony Perkins Asst. to the Head Coach
Tennessee Titans Nick Eason Defensive Line
Frisman Jackson Wide Receivers
Keith Willis Asst. Defensive Line