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Browns welcome 6 coaches as part of diversity program

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Posted at 7:04 PM, Jun 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-09 19:04:21-04

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Browns have welcomed six young coaches, including two women and former NFL player Leonard Hankerson, to take part in the final three weeks of their offseason program.

As part of the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship, the team brought in the coaches so they can gain experience while working with an NFL team and potentially land full-time jobs in the league.

“The Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship is the type of program that can be very impactful to the coaching hiring process,” Browns first-year coach Kevin Stefanski said Tuesday. “Diversity is always going to be an important component of what we do in our organization because it helps us become a better organization. This will be a great experience for our fellows; learning is an important part of this program and our coaching staff will be good resources for them.”

Applicants for the fellowship must either have NFL backgrounds or coaching experience in high school, college, the Canadian Football League or other pro leagues.

The Browns have a proud history of diversity. In the 1940s, Bill Wills was one of the first blacks to play professional football in the modern era, with his debut coming before Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier.

Current general manager Andrew Berry is one of just two black GMs in the NFL. And not long after he was hired, Stefanski, who spent 13 seasons in Minnesota as an assistant before coming to Cleveland, hired Callie Brownson as his chief of staff. She’s the first full-time female coach in Browns history.

Among the six Walsh fellows are Angela Baker, who has played the past eight seasons with the Pittsburgh Passion, and Elena Grigelevich, a coaching analyst pursuing her master’s at Bryant University.

Hankerson played wide receiver in the league for five seasons, the first four with Washington. He played college ball for the Miami Hurricanes and is entering his second season as wide receivers coach at Stephen F. Austin

The other coaches brought in by the Browns are Akron tight ends coach Chris Cook, Holy Cross assistant Ashton Grant, and Southeast Missouri State assistant Ray Smith Jr.

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BROWNS 2021 SCHEDULE

Preseason

WEEK 1 · TBD· At Jacksonville Jaguars (TBD/News 5 Cleveland)
WEEK 2 · TBD · New York Giants (TBD/News 5 Cleveland)
WEEK 3 · Sun 8/29 · 8:00 PM at Atlanta Falcons (NBC)

Regular Season

WEEK 1 · Sun 9/12 · 4:25 PM EST at Kansas City Chiefs (CBS)

WEEK 2 · Thu 9/19 · 1:00 PM EST Houston Texans (CBS)

WEEK 3 · Sun 9/26 · 1:00 PM EST Chicago Bears (FOX)

WEEK 4 · Sun 10/3 · 1:00 PM EST at Minnesota Vikings (CBS)

WEEK 5 · Sun 10/10 · 4:05 PM EST at Los Angeles Chargers (CBS)

WEEK 6 · Sun 10/17 · 4:05 PM EST Arizona Cardinals (FOX)

WEEK 7 · Thu 10/21 · 8:20 PM EST Denver Broncos (FOX/NFLN/AMZ)

WEEK 8 · Sun 10/31 · 1:00 PM EST Pittsburgh Steelers (CBS)

WEEK 9 · Sun 11/7 · 1:00 PM EST at Cincinnati Bengals (CBS)

WEEK 10 · Sun 11/14 · 1:00 PM EST at New England Patriots (CBS)

WEEK 11 · Sun 11/21 · 1:00 PM EST Detroit Lions (FOX)

WEEK 12 · Sun 11/28 · 8:20 PM EST at Baltimore Ravens (NBC)

WEEK 13 · BYE

WEEK 14 · Mon 12/12 · 1:00 PM EST Baltimore Ravens (CBS)

WEEK 15 · Dec. 18/19 · TBD Las Vegas Raiders (TBD)

WEEK 16 · Sat 12/25 · 4:30 PM at Green Bay Packers (FOX/NFLN/AMZ)

WEEK 17 · Mon 1/3 · 8:15 PM EST at Pittsburgh Steelers (ESPN)

WEEK 18 · Sun 1/9 · 1:00 PM EST Cincinnati Bengals (CBS)