ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — As the NFL continues its work on improving diversity among coaching and executive staffs across the league, it will begin a new program to help women and minority candidates who hope to one day be head coaches or general managers.
During the league's Spring League Meeting on Monday and Tuesday, more than 60 senior prospects, including Defensive Coordinator Ejiro Evero and Executive Director of Football Operations/Special Advisor to the General Manager Kelly Kleine from the Broncos, will take part in the new Coach and Front Office Accelerator program.
"The NFL is committed to diversity and inclusion, and this program is the latest in a series of steps designed to improve our hiring practices and create opportunities for advancement," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "The program helps ensure that clubs receive exposure to high-performing, up-and-coming NFL talent and candidates get a chance to learn the business on a working level from team owners and executives."
Evero, who joined the Broncos in February after winning Super Bowl LVI with the Rams, is in his first season as a defensive coordinator. He has 14 years of coaching experience in the NFL and 17 years overall.
Kleine, who is entering her 11th NFL season, joined the Broncos in 2021 and is the highest-ranking woman to hold a position in the team's scouting department in franchise history. In her role, she works with "all aspects of the Broncos' personnel department, including player evaluation, NFL Draft/free agency preparations and day-to-day football administration," as the Broncos note in their media guide.
"Someone I don't talk about enough is Kelly Kleine," General Manager George Paton said after the 2022 NFL Draft. "She's really the glue that keeps us all together, the details, all the little things. She keeps me in check, keeps all the scouts in check. She knows football, she knows the building, and she's the glue that keeps everything together."
"I think the Accelerator is some of the most important work the League and our committee will do all year because the potential of the program is exponential," Atlanta Falcons owner and chairman Arthur Blank said in the NFL's press release. "It's an unprecedented opportunity for emerging leaders, owners and team leadership to get to know each other better over these two days, and the relationships formed in this setting will be integral to future hiring cycles."