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Leagues and Governing Bodies

Unusually long NFL hiring cycle fuels push for coaching diversity

This NFL hiring cycle has been among the "oddest in recent history," as more head coaching jobs continue to open up weeks after the end of the regular season, and "still no hires made to this point," according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSPORTS.com. Sources maintain that at least part of the "more exhaustive interviewing process this year is due to heightened pressure from the league office to aspire to greater diversity, with only one African American head coach currently under contract." One top coaching agent said of this hiring climate, "There is more pressure than ever on teams to conduct a robust search and do more than give lip service to making diverse hires. I see it reflected in how these owners are going about it." One NFL exec echoed that sentiment and said there is "consistent messaging" from NFL Exec VP/Football Operations Troy Vincent and the league office "about the need to be open to speaking to diverse candidates, and not just look for one guy to fit a certain profile" (CBSSPORTS.com, 1/22).

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