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New Report Shows Slight Uptick in Diversity Among NFL Coaches

USA Today released its second annual analysis of the diversity of the NFL teams’ coaching staffs. Although there was a slight increase, the number of coaches of color remained stagnant overall.

Over the last several years, the NFL has garnered increased scrutiny over the number of coaches of color who grace the sidelines of teams across the league. Despite long-standing diversity efforts, such as the Rooney Rule, the numbers have not changed substantially over time.

The percentage of NFL coaches of color rose by nearly one percentage point year-over-year in 2023. Of the league’s 752 coaches, 43.5% identified as people of color in 2022 as compared to 44.3% this year, according to data compiled by USA Today and released Thursday.

However, when breaking down the figures, there are continued disparities in hiring amongst the game’s most coveted coaching positions. The data reflect that six head coaches, 27 coordinators, 151 position coaches, 107 assistant position coaches, and 42 quality control coaching positions are occupied by people of color this season.

The numbers show mixed year-over-year growth across the levels but still fall vastly short of the estimated 75% of NFL players who are non-white.

  • The number of diverse head coaches remained level year-over-year
  • The percentage of coordinators decreased from 30.1% to 28.7%
  • Position coaches of color increased from 46.3% to 47.6%, led by a slight uptick in diverse defensive and special teams coordinators
  • The diversity of assistant position coaches increased from 46.2% to 49.8%
  • Quality control coaches of color decreased from 51.2% to 44.7%
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For the second straight year, the Pittsburgh Steelers had the league’s most diverse coaching staff, blowing the second-place Seattle Seahawks out of the water. Five of the top 10 teams boast head coaches of color.

The Cincinnati Bengals had by far the NFL’s least diverse staff for the second consecutive season. The Bengals join nine other teams that have white men staffed in the head coaching and all major coordinator positions.

However, it must be noted that the data for the report were assembled prior to the Raiders’ firing of head coach Josh McDaniels. The team appointed Antonio Pierce as the league’s seventh coach of color.

The NFL’s 10 Most Diverse Coaching Staffs

Team2023 Percentage of
Coaches of Color
2022 Percentage of
Coaches of Color
Pittsburgh Steelers*68.4%63.2%+5.2%
Seattle Seahawks58.3%59.1%-0.8%
Tampa Bay Buccaneers*56.5%45.8%+10.8%
New York Jets*56%59.1%-3.1%
Washington Commanders*54.2%45.8%+8.4%
Arizona Cardinals52.4%39.1%+13.3%
Houston Texans*50%60%-10%
San Francisco 49ers50%45.8%+4.2%
Baltimore Ravens48%41.7%+5.3%
Detroit Lions48%47.8%+0.2%
Minnesota Vikings48%36%+12%
The Buccaneers and the Steelers boast the top third and first most diverse coaching staffs, respectively. (Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images)

The NFL’s 10 Least Diverse Coaching Staffs

Team2023 Percentage of
Coaches of Color
2023 Percentage of
Coaches of Color
Cincinnati Bengals25%23.8%+1.2%
New Orleans Saints30.4%31.8%-1.4%
Los Angeles Chargers30.4%36.4%-6%
Kansas City Chiefs30.4%30.4%0%
Jacksonville Jaguars34.6%36%-1.4%
Las Vegas Raiders*37.5%45%-7.5%
Green Bay Packers37.5%39.1%-1.6%
Carolina Panthers40%37.5%+2.5%
Buffalo Bills40%38.1%+1.9%
Atlanta Falcons40%45.8%-5.8%
*The Raiders hired Antonio Pierce to replace Josh McDaniel on Nov. 1, 2023 — therefore, these data may not be fully up to date.

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