NFL Expands Rooney Rule to Include QB Coaches, Mandates Diverse Hire Interviews

Adam WellsMay 24, 2022

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 31: Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney II walks onto the field prior to a game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 31, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)
Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

As the NFL looks to continue to provide more opportunities for non-white coaches, the league has expanded the Rooney Rule yet again. 

Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the NFL announced teams will be required to interview a diverse candidate for their vacancy for a quarterbacks coach when it becomes available. 

This marks the second significant change to the Rooney Rule this offseason. The league previously announced in March that all 32 teams must interview at least two women and/or people of color for vacant coaching positions. 

All teams are also required to have at least one woman or person of color on staff as an offensive assistant. 

The NFL expanded the Rooney Rule last October to require two non-white candidates be interviewed for general manager/executive of football operations positions, and all coordinator roles. 

Expansion of the rule has come amid criticism that it hasn't gone far enough to give non-white candidates a fair chance to be hired.

Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores filed a class-action lawsuit against the NFL and its 32 teams for racial discrimination in hiring practices. He cited a series of text messages from Bill Belichick, who said he heard that the New York Giants had him as their top candidate. 

Flores later followed up with Belichick to make sure he meant to text him and not Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. 

"Sorry -- I f---ed this up," Belichick replied via text. "I double checked and misread the text. I think they are naming Brian Daboll. I'm sorry about that."

Flores said his text conversation with Belichick on Jan. 27 came before he had a proper interview with the Giants and that his eventual meeting with the team was only used to satisfy the Rooney Rule. 

Daboll was named Giants head coach on Jan. 29. 

Of the nine head coaching vacancies this offseason, seven were filled by white candidates. Only Mike McDaniel (Miami Dolphins) and Lovie Smith (Houston Texans) were non-white head coaches hired by teams.