Getting a leg up on others

By BASN Wire Services
Updated: February 13, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS — The NCAA and the NFL have teamed up to launch the NCAA-NFL Football Academy, beginning Sunday through Wednesday in Orlando, Florida. The program was developed to provide 60 participants (30 from NCAA schools & 30 from NFL teams) with the necessary tools and networking opportunities that will enhance their chances at success in the football coaching industry. The program follows the model of the NCAA coaching academies. This year, nine coaches from HBCUs have been chosen to participate.

“Working with the NFL is a phenomenal opportunity to broaden the scope of the NCAA football academies as we continue to provide opportunities for individuals who one day want to be head football coaches at the collegiate level,” said Robert Vowels, NCAA vice president for student-athlete affairs.

“We’ll continue with our NCAA football academies and will work with the NFL to develop its program and in understanding the football coaching landscape in the NCAA.”

“This is an excellent opportunity for the NCAA and the NFL to collaborate in developing both the student and professional athlete as well as to sustain and grow the most popular game in America,” said Troy Vincent, NFL vice president of player development.”

The NCAA will invite football coaches who have less than eight years of college coaching experience. Most of the NCAA participants are ethnic minority football coaches who one day aspire to be head football coaches at NCAA colleges and universities.

Currently, only 12 percent of college football coaches at NCAA schools are ethnic minorities. The NFL participants will be NCAA student-athletes who currently play in the NFL and are nearing the end of their professional careers, as well as former NCAA student-athletes who played in the league and are now retired.

Sessions will include instruction from college, NFL and high school coaches, business leaders and athletic administrators.

Topics will include how to build a personal and professional brand; managing budgets; successful networking; media messaging; tactics to become an offensive/defensive coordinator; understanding coaching contracts; insight to the hiring process; issues in higher education; building relationships in college; effective leadership; understanding the academic landscape; and the interview process.

There will also be a mock interview session.

Keynote speakers include Dan Reeves (former head coach of the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons), Brian Kelly (head coach, University of Notre Dame), Aaron Kelton (head coach, Williams College) and Charlie Casserly (former general manager of the Washington Redskins).

The NCAA also directs a Future Coaches Academy for student-athletes, an Expert Coaches Academy (eight years or more of experience) and a Champion Academy (select NCAA offensive and defensive coordinators and athletics directors) throughout the year.

Participants from HBCUs

Greg Davis, Kentucky State University Antoine Rivens, North Carolina Central University Kamarco Butler, Norfolk State University Lawal McCray, Bethune Cookman University Anthony Blevins, Tennessee State University Herbert Pickens, Lincoln (Pa.) University Anthony Scott, St. Augustine’s College Cory Stone, Clark Atlanta University Edwin Pata, Florida A&M University