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Report: NFL creates panel to recommend coaching candidates

By John Breech | CBSSports.com

Lovie Smith is a top minority coaching candidate, according to a new NFL panel. (USATSI)
Lovie Smith is a top minority coaching candidate, according to a new NFL panel. (USATSI)

After the 2012 NFL season, the 32 teams in the league combined to hire 14 new head coaches and general managers. Despite the presence of the Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview at least one minority candidate for a head coaching job, no minority coaches were hired.

The NFL doesn't want that happen to again, so the league has assembled a panel of eight former coaches and general managers to help identify the top minority coaching candidates, according to Sports Illustrated's Peter King. Members of this Career Development Advisory panel include Bill Polian, Tony Dungy, Ron Wolf and John Madden and the group was asked to put together an inclusive list of candidates, with a special emphasis on minorities.

With at least one NFL head coaching job already open in Houston, the panel quickly finalized its list of top minority candidates. According to King, those candidates include: former Bears coach Lovie Smith, Baltimore offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell, Chicago defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton and Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.

Any NFL team with a head coaching vacancy will have access to the list.

The panel's list also includes minority candidates from the college ranks like Louisville coach Charlie Strong and Vanderbilt coach James Franklin. NFL assistants Hue Jackson (Cincinnati), Winston Moss (Green Bay), Darren Perry (Green Bay), Eric Studesville (Denver) and Karl Dorrell (Houston) were also listed.

The panel also listed several non-minority candidates. The non-minority list includes: Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael and Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden.

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