While the Minnesota Vikings are getting into the swing of their Organized Team Activities (OTAs) at the Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center over the next few weeks, one of the members of Kevin O’Connell’s new coaching staff is going to be doing something a little different.
Assistant head coach Mike Pettine is leading a first-of-its-kind. . .at least, as far as I can tell. . .coaching diversity workshop that is designed to give minority coaching candidates an immersive experience to help develop them and potentially increase their opportunities.
The candidates will spend time doing mock interviews, shadowing other coaches, and generally getting a look into the operation of an NFL team and its coaching staff.
“The world is turning so fast I just felt it was too important to not try to get this up and running,” Pettine said Wednesday, as the Vikings announced the launch of a coaching diversity workshop at team headquarters.
There are 12 coaches at this week’s workshop. Some of them are from more notable colleges, but there are also some small college coaches getting an opportunity as well. Those coaches are as follows:
Imarjaye Albury, who was an assistant defensive line coach for the Vikings the last two seasons after two years as a graduate assistant with Arkansas.
Reggie Bain, a graduate assistant with Miami.
Mark Cala, an offensive quality control and quarterbacks coach at Arkansas.
Cortez Carter, a senior analyst at Florida State.
Chili Davis, the special teams coordinator at Florida A&M.
Kenji Jackson, a defensive quality control coach at Arkansas.
Courtney Love, the director of player development at Kentucky.
Jeremy Modkins, the cornerbacks coach at TCU and the younger brother of current Vikings running backs coach Curtis Modkins.
Jordan Reid, a graduate assistant at Wake Forest.
Ahmad Smith, a defensive analyst at South Carolina.
Roseanna Smith, the director of football operations and running backs coach at Division III Oberlin College. She is the only woman in the group.
Earnest Thomas III, a defensive analyst at Tennessee.
Pettine also said that the team had to turn away “dozens” of potential candidates.
Kudos to Mike Pettine and the Vikings for spearheading this initiative. I’m not sure how many other teams, if any, are already doing this sort of thing, but hopefully this is something that will gain momentum and continue into the future for the Vikings and the entire National Football League.