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Rooney Rule: 8 minority head coaches for 2017

With the hiring of Anthony Lynn as coach of the Los Angeles Chargers, the NFL will have eight minority head coaches in 2017. (Bill Wippert / Associated Press)
With the hiring of Anthony Lynn as coach of the Los Angeles Chargers, the NFL will have eight minority head coaches in 2017. (Bill Wippert / Associated Press)
By Barry Wilner Associated Press

The NFL will have eight minority head coaches in 2017, tying the most for the beginning of one season.

With the hirings of Anthony Lynn by the Chargers and Vance Joseph by the Broncos, the eight minority coaches will equal the number in 2011.

Five of those men – Marvin Lewis, Mike Tomlin, Jim Caldwell, Hue Jackson and Ron Rivera – remain as head coaches, though Caldwell has switched from the Colts to the Lions, and Jackson went from the Raiders to the Browns. The Jets’ Todd Bowles is the other.

Robert Gulliver, the NFL’s chief human resources officer, cites the effectiveness of the Rooney Rule, which mandates that teams interview minority candidates for coaching and general manager positions. That rule also has been extrapolated to include other NFL jobs.

“The rule is firmly embedded,” Gulliver says. “It makes us better.”

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