64 NFL coaches & front office executives to take part in NFL Career Development Symposium May 6-8 at Wharton School of Business

Speakers include:

Owners/Presidents Michael Bidwill, Shad Khan, John Mara & Rich McKay; 

Team Execs Dawn Aponte, John Dorsey, Thomas Dimitroff, John Idzik, Ozzie Newsome & Rick Smith;

Coaches Jeff Fisher, Marvin Lewis, Joe Philbin, Mike Smith & Mike Tomlin 

Sixty four assistant coaches and front office executives – two per NFL club – will take part in the NFL Career Development Symposium on May 6-8 at the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, it was announced today.

The three-day program will engage aspiring head coach and general manager candidates through keynote speeches, panel discussions, breakout sessions and networking opportunities with owners, club presidents, coaches, general managers and league executives.

“We are pleased to offer this program to provide a diverse group of coaching and front office talent with the tools and networking opportunities to take the next step in their careers,” said Commissioner ROGER GOODELL. “This symposium will help develop our coaching and front office pipeline and build on the progress we have made over the past decade.”

Among the speakers and presenters are Jaguars owner SHAD KHAN, Giants owner JOHN MARA, Cardinals president MICHAEL BIDWILL, Falcons president RICH MC KAY, Ravens EVP and general manager OZZIE NEWSOME, Dolphins SVP of football operations DAWN APONTE, Chiefs general manager JOHN DORSEY, Falcons general manager THOMAS DIMITROFF, Jets general manager JOHN IDZIK, Texans general manager RICK SMITH, Rams head coach JEFF FISHER, Bengals head coach MARVIN LEWIS, Dolphins head coach JOE PHILBIN, Falcons head coach MIKE SMITH, Steelers head coach MIKE TOMLIN and former NFL general managers BILL POLIAN and CHARLEY CASSERLY.

Those in attendance for the networking sessions will include Jets president NEIL GLAT, Giants SVP and General Manager JERRY REESE, Eagles president DON SMOLENSKI, and former general managers JERRY ANGELO and SCOTT PIOLI.

Program session titles include: “Expectations of Leadership,” “Player Health and Safety,” “Managing Key Relationships,” “Brand Building/Media Training,” and “Developing and Describing Your ‘90-Day Plan.’”

The program will be directed by NFL EVP and Chief Diversity Officer ROBERT GULLIVER and NFL EVP of Football Operations RAY ANDERSON.

“The Career Development Symposium is an important part of preparing the next generation of NFL head coaches and general managers,” said Gulliver. “We are pulling together a select group that will benefit from the insights of owners, current and former head coaches and GMs, as well as Wharton faculty that will help them take that next step in their careers.”

“It is incumbent on all of us to continue the education and readiness of our future leaders,” Anderson added. “The Career Development Symposium will provide tremendous value to the participants and our league.”

“We are excited to serve as the venue and to provide support for this important NFL symposium,” said KENNETH SHROPSHIRE, Wharton Professor and Faculty Director at the Wharton Sports Business Initiative.

Career Development Symposium participants will be selected by the NFL office after NFL clubs submit nominations from their staffs.

The Career Development Symposium previously ran from 1998-2008. Attendees included current head coaches LESLIE FRAZIER (Minnesota), JOHN HARBAUGH (Baltimore), CHUCK PAGANO (Indianapolis), RON RIVERA (Carolina), and MIKE SMITH (Atlanta) as well as general managers TRENT BAALKE (San Francisco), JOHN DORSEY (Kansas City), and JOHN SCHNEIDER (Seattle).

The NFL Career Development Symposium supplements other initiatives that include:

  • Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship (April-June 2013; July-August 2013), which provides opportunities at all 32 NFL clubs for minority coaches to observe, participate and gain coaching experience.
  • NFL-NCAA Coaches Academy (February 2013), which offered 60 coaches/coaching prospects – including 28 former NFL players and nine current NFL players — with tools and networking opportunities for potential careers as football coaches.
  • NFL Video Interview Program (February 2013), for those who have been identified as potential head coaches or general managers. The program gives clubs the ability to view an informational interview conducted by an executive search firm.
  • NFL-NCAA Future Football Coaches Academy (January 2013), for those who have recently completed their collegiate eligibility and are interested in becoming a college football coach.
  • NFL-NCAA Champion Forum (June 2013) for those who have been identified as potential head coaches by college administrators, this program simulates the intercollegiate interview process from researching the position to their first staff meeting after becoming a head coach.

For further information, please visit https://www.nflplayerengagement.com/.


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