NFL votes to push back head coach hiring process

In an effort to add to the diversity of candidates who receive interviews for head coaching positions in the NFL, league owners on Tuesday voted to approve a proposal by the diversity committee to push in-person interviews of candidates employed by NFL teams back to after the Divisional Round of the playoffs has been completed.
The intention of the delay in the interview process is to slow teams down and lead to owners speaking with a more diverse group of candidates. The proposal moves the hiring process back by one week. In 2023, no in-person interviews were permitted until after the Wild Card round of the playoffs had been completed.
"Last year, we moved it to the Wild Card round. We're moving it one more week," said Steelers president Art Rooney II, who chairs the league's diversity committee. "The goal here is to increase the period of time where the interviews are taking place to allow the potential coaches to have more time to prepare, obviously to allow the clubs more time to prepare. Last year, we did see that the process from start to finish did last longer. We were up to 26 days on average for a head coach hire, which is up from 13 days a few years ago."
The proposal, which was put forth by the league diversity committee was approved at the NFL Fall League Meeting in New York.
The official proposal passed will, "Prohibit clubs from conducting in-person Head Coach interviews with candidates who are employed by other NFL clubs until after the conclusion of all Divisional Playoff games. Prior to the conclusion of Divisional Playoff games, hiring clubs are permitted to conduct in-person Head Coach interviews with candidates who are employed by the hiring club or who are not employed in the NFL."
According to reports from the NFL's Diversity Council, the league is now at over 50 percent in diverse hirings, jobs performed by both women and people of color for all 32 teams and the league office.
"Across the board, we're seeing progress," Rooney said. "Not at every level that we want to see progress, but certainly, the various measures that we're looking at, the internal data that we have, we feel like we're making progress across the league."
The league also announced it will again hold the Front Office Accelerator Program to increase visibility of minority candidates Dec. 11 through the 13 to introduce NFL owners to minority candidates who potential hires in the next five years. The league expects 40 to 45 participants to take part in the program.
"These participants are going to be nominated by the clubs," said Jonathan Beane, NFL senior vice president and Chief Diversity and Inclusion officer. "They can be either somebody who was a previous participant or a new participant."