Matt Nagy will have a handful of new coaches helping him as training camp begins.
The Bears announced five coaches are joining Nagy’s staff this summer as part of the NFL’s Bill Walsh Diversity Fellowship. Making their way to Bourbonnais to lend a helping hand are Satyen Bhakta (defensive line), Stan Clayton (offensive line), Osagie Osunde (running backs), Napoleon Sykes (outside linebackers), and Chris Thompson (tight ends). Welcome aboard, gang!
At its core, the fellowship’s purpose is to give coaches a chance to get experience and eventually full-time employment as an NFL coach. Back in January, the Bears hired Ronell Williams as the team’s new Defensive Quality Control coach. Williams was on Nagy’s staff last summer as part of the group who earned Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowships last year. So there is hope for these coaches to use this opportunity as a springboard to bigger and better things in their coaching career.
What I always find interesting about the Walsh Diversity Fellowship recipients is their respective backgrounds. Bhakta has been at Cornell University (yes, the one in the Ivy Leagues) since 2013 as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. Clayton is Stetson University’s offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. Osunde wears several hats at West Chester University, where he starred as a running back. After finishing his college career with a school record 51 touchdowns, Osunde returned to his alma mater to serve in several capacities as a coach. Currently, Osunde is the team’s running backs coach, run game coordinator, and recruiting coordinator.
And then we have Sykes and Thompson, who have signed on for jobs with the XFL’s Washington and New York’s franchises (respectively) for the league that is slated to start again in 2020. Skykes was most recently the outside linebackers coach at Navy. Thompson previously worked as the director of football operations for the now-defunct Alliance of American Football’s Atlanta team. This experience with Nagy could help their respective careers, but also bring hope to the XFL re-boot that’s on the horizon.
Good luck and best wishes to the Bears’ new coaches this summer. Here’s hoping they learn something they can apply down the line, while also assisting Chicago’s football team in the process.