Mike Tomlin is now one of just four minority head coaches in the NFL. (Joe Sargent, Getty Images)
The National Football League's Vice President of Human Resources has indicated that the league plans to expand its most notable rule encouraging diversity in hiring practices across teams.
In a statement released to the media, Robert Gulliver expresed dismay that of the eight NFL head coaching jobs that have opened up this year, all eight were filled by white men. He then indicated that the league would consider expanding its diversity policy in the future. Gulliver's full statement, via ProFootballTalk.com:
“While there has been full compliance with the interview requirements of the Rooney Rule and we wish the new head coaches and general managers much success, the hiring results this year have been unexpected and reflect a disappointing lack of diversity.
The Rooney Rule has been a valuable tool in expanding diversity and inclusion in hiring practices, but there is more work to do, especially around increasing and strengthening the pipeline of diverse candidates for head coach and senior football executive positions. We have already started the process of developing a plan for additional steps that will better ensure more diversity and inclusion on a regular basis in our hiring results. We look forward to discussing these steps with our advisers to ensure that our employment, development and equal opportunity programs are both robust and successful.”
The so called "Rooney Rule," named for the Pittsburgh Steelers' owner Dan Rooney, requires all NFL teams to interview at least one minority candidate for head coaching and senior football operation positions. Currently, there are only four minority head coaches in the NFL: Ron Rivera with the Carolina Panthers, Leslie Frazier of the Minnesota Vikings, Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals.