Minority Coaches in the NFL: An Examination of Hiring Patterns as a Basis for Recommendations for Improved Employment Practices

Date of Award


Document Type

Capstone Project


Human Resource Administration

Degree Name

Master of Professional Studies


Strategic HR Management


Sam Conn


Coach, Diversity, EEOC, Hiring, Law, Minority, NFL, Rooney rule, Sports


Hiring minority coaches is a serious concern in the National Football League (NFL). The NFL's hiring practices are inconsistent, specifically for minority candidates. The author investigates why NFL teams underutilize minority coaches with research from Central Florida University and the University of Pennsylvania. Research findings suggest that minority hires positively affect the NFL, yet the hiring process remains weak. Case study examples show the poor decision-making trends of NFL personnel, implying that although minority coaches' success is better than non-minorities, the negative perception of minorities, as aspiring head coaches and leaders, is a barrier. As a result, the NFL has a unique opportunity to improve its hiring process by aligning its approach to hiring within the guidelines of federal law.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.

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