University of Central Arkansas assistant football coach Chaz Scales has been selected as a participant in the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship this summer.
The objective of the program — named after Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh — is to use NFL clubs' training camps, offseason workout program and minicamps to give talented coaches opportunities to observe, participate, gain experience and ultimately gain a full-time NFL coaching position. Designed as a vocational tool to increase the number of full-time NFL minority coaches, all 32 NFL clubs participate each year. Specific aspects of the program — including hiring, compensation and coaching duties — are administered on a club-by-club basis.
The NFL does not mandate any elements of the fellowship to the clubs, but it recommends several best practices, including:
• Hiring participants for the duration of training camp, including all pre-season games.
• Encouraging clubs to hire a minimum of four participants, with at least two of them having an offensive coaching background.
• Mentoring participants in the form of continuing and constructive feedback regarding their work while with the club.
Scales will intern with the New York Giants, beginning with a mini camp June 3-7, and lasting through training camp July 22-28.
"It is a blessing and an honor to be awarded The Bill Walsh Minority Fellowship Internship,” Scales said. "I can only thank God and the Giants organization for giving me this opportunity. I am one of few who applied and actually got selected.”
"I will be surrounded by a group of coaches who have played and coached at the highest level for a long time. It will be a wealth of knowledge and experience in the building. I know it will be a lot of chances to learn new things schematically, techniques, and even the day to day operation.”
"Chaz has done a great job coming into our program and making an instant impact,” UCA coach Nathan Brown said. "I could tell early on he was going to be really good for our defensive room, not only with his knowledge of defense but also with his personality and connection with our athletes. This is a great opportunity for Chaz not only to represent himself and what he has worked so hard for but also an opportunity to represent the UCA community, athletic department, and our football program.
"The Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship is meant to give young coaches an opportunity to grow in this profession and add to the skills they already possess. I have zero doubt that Chaz will come out of this a better person and coach. We look forward to using what he learns and observes during this NFL internship with the New York Giants to our advantage here at UCA.”
Scales, a former player at Arkansas State University and native of Nashville, Tennessee, came to UCA from Tusculum University where he served as defensive backs coach.
He coached previously at West Georgia, Valdosta State and Northwest Mississippi Junior College.
As a player at ASU, Scales was part of back-to-back Sun Belt Conference championships during his junior and senior seasons, making consecutive appearances in the GoDaddy.com Bowl.
Scales played at Centennial High School in Nashville where he was selected to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association (TSWA) Class 5A All-State team as a quarterback for the Cougars.
"I think this is huge for UCA, it gets our brand more exposure,” Scales said. "And the recent success of our program and the opportunities and success our alumni are having in the NFL may have helped me be selected. This will be a great networking opportunity for myself. But more importantly, It will benefit myself and UCA by allowing me to learn new schemes, new drills, new techniques that I can bring back to Conway and possibly implement some to help us have a phenomenal season this year.”