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Explaining the NFL’s Rooney Rule Requirements


With the coaching carousel in full swing, it is vital to recollect one of the vital components NFL teams must consider during their coaching searches: the Rooney Rule. 

The rule was introduced in 2003 and serves to extend the variety of minority coaching candidates within the NFL. It was named after the then-chairman of the league’s workplace diversity committee, Dan Rooney, the late owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The rule has undergone several changes over time. Originally, the policy required every team with a head coaching emptiness to interview at the least one minority candidate before making a recent hire. Then in 2009, the policy was amended to incorporate general manager jobs and equivalent front-office positions, requiring each team to interview a minimum of two external minority candidates.

Here’s what the rule looks like now:

1. The NFL requires every team to interview at the least two external minority candidates for open head coaching positions and at the least one external minority candidate for a coordinator job. Moreover, at the least one minority and/or female candidate should be interviewed for senior-level positions. Such positions include team president and senior executives.

2. As of 2022, NFL teams are required to conduct outside interviews with a minority and/or female candidate for vacant quarterback coach positions. With so many prospective coaches starting their careers in that role, the ruling is anticipated to assist increase the pool of qualified minority coaches in the longer term.

3. If a team developed minority talent that went on to change into general managers or head coaches with one other NFL team, that team receives a third-round compensatory pick for 2 years. If a team lost each a coach and personnel member, it could receive a third-round compensatory pick for 3 years.

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