Coaching and Playing Opportunities

Career forums, workshops, internships and other opportunities equip HBCU students, players and coaches with access to programs to develop the skills needed to work or play in professional football.

HBCU Combine

The NFL HBCU Combine, presented by Microsoft Surface, provides exposure, mentorship and development opportunities for HBCU prospects. In collaboration with the Senior Bowl, the HBCU Combine invites draft-eligible players from HBCU schools to showcase their talent both in player interviews and on the field for NFL scouts from all 32 clubs.

HBCU Combine attendees will network with NFL Legends and club personnel to prepare for careers on the field, and to learn about opportunities in professional football.

HBCU Legacy Bowl

The HBCU Legacy Bowl postseason all-star game showcases the best NFL draft-eligible HBCU football players. Presented by the Black College Football Hall of Fame, the game will be played on the Saturday after Super Bowl LVI at Yulman Stadium at Tulane University in New Orleans and will air live on NFL Network.

"HBCUs are a bridge to equality," said BCFHOF co-founder and inductee James "Shack" Harris. "We thank the NFL for their support and in sharing our commitment to lifting up others." 

The week-long celebration of Black culture and history will provide invaluable exposure and opportunity for HBCU football players. Roughly 100 of the top HBCU players will be invited to participate.

HBCU Officiating Grants

Each year, NFL Officiating provides a grant to support Officiating Development Training sessions for officiating staff that includes clinics, game evaluations, and continued education.

The NFL collaborates with HBCU conferences, including the SIAC, SWAC, CIAA and the MEAC, as part of its ongoing efforts to develop the next generation of football officials. Officiating coordinators from each conference work with the NFL to identify officials who are currently in the NFL’s Intermediate Development Program that may be candidates to be hired to officiate in their conferences.

“The NFL Officiating Department annually awards grants to HBCU conferences to not only assist with augmenting the training and development of their officials, but to also help increase diversity, equity and inclusion in the college football officiating pipeline and at the NFL level,” said Wayne Mackie, Vice President of Officiating Training & Development.


The two-day Quarterback Coaching Summit is aimed at identifying and strengthening the coaching and personnel development pipeline for experienced offensive coaches of color. In partnership with the Black College Football Hall of Fame, the summit is open to NFL and NCAA assistant and position coaches.

“The Quarterback Summit brings together the brightest, most innovative and successful offensive minds from around the country,” said Troy Vincent, Sr., NFL executive vice president of football operations. “From professional development to networking to coaching best practices — this summit should leave no doubt about the promising pipeline of championship play callers within the sport of football.”

The annual summit is one of several NFL programs intended to strengthen diversity across the league and build the coaching and personnel development pipeline.


The Ozzie Newsome General Manager Forum, named for the first Black NFL general manager, was established in 2021 to connect current and aspiring football personnel executives and to provide a platform for clubs to identify, prepare and educate minority candidates. 

The QB Summit and GM Forum provide current and aspiring football personnel, minority coaches and executives with opportunities to engage with each other, strengthen relationships, and to share their knowledge and love for the game. Most importantly, the forums help to establish a cultural norm of opportunity for all and a commitment to developing a diverse and inclusive workforce.

Nunn-Wooten Scouting Fellowship

(AP/Ted S. Warren)

(AP/Ted S. Warren)

The Nunn-Wooten Scouting Fellowship, created by the NFL in 2015, exposes interested and qualified candidates to a career in professional scouting. The program gives participants a glimpse into player personnel and introduces them to college and pro scouting roles within a club. 

The fellowship — named for Pro Football Hall of Fame member Bill Nunn, longtime personnel director for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and John Wooten, NFL Legend and front-office executive — provides exposure evaluating and recruiting players that can help participants transition to an NFL personnel office.

“The Nunn-Wooten Scouting Program offers a unique opportunity for former players to learn more about this important profession,” said Troy Vincent, Sr., NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations. “Scouting is a critical function for all NFL teams. Identifying talent and building rosters strategically are keys to every team’s success.”

Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship

The NFL Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship is proud to celebrate more than 30 years of assisting outstanding coaches in earning experience with an NFL coaching staff during training camps and offseason workout programs.