Bowie State University head football coach Damon Wilson, long regarded as one of the sharpest and best-respected Central Interscholastic Athletic Association coaches, has taken another step on the coaching ladder.
Winner of several CIAA coach of the week honors for leading his teams to several record-breaking performances since taking the job in 2009, his professional future was brightened this summer with some hands-on experience as a National Football League coach.
According to Bowie State’s Greg Goings, Wilson spent the summer completing a summer internship with the St. Louis Rams through an internship program offered through the Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship and administered by the NFL Management Council.
As Goings explained, the purpose of the internship is to allow gifted minority coaches like Wilson the opportunity to use NFL resources to “observe, participate and gain experience” in a pro sports environment, which will ultimately aid them in their pursuit of joining an NFL full-time coaching staff.
Every team in the NFL participates in the league’s Minority Coaching Fellowship program as it serves as a tool to boost the number of minority coaches in the leagues; teams are even encouraged to hire at least four of the minority coaches that take part in the internship.
Wilson said working with the Rams really improved his coaching.
“The Rams are a first class organization and [Rams head coach] Jeff Fisher and his staff really continued to improve my development as a head coach and the CEO of Bowie State University football program,” said Wilson, who spent most of the internship working directly on the offensive side of the ball under Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.
“Coach Schottenheimer along with his offensive staff has a wealth of knowledge and has an excellent way of teaching their players.”
Wilson believes working with the Rams in St. Louis was the most ideal place for him to be this summer.
“I believe this was the best possible organization for me to land an internship with because of the youth on their roster and the experience of the coaching staff, said Wilson.
“The Rams have one of the youngest rosters in the NFL, which for me was great because it reminded me of a college atmosphere at practice and in meetings.
“I was also afforded the opportunity to meet with the Pro and College scouting department. This was great because it gave me the opportunity to confirm that what we are teaching and telling our student-athletes at Bowie State University is in line with what’s being taught at the highest level.”
Wilson has two of his former Bowie State players that are now NFL players, including Pittsburgh Steelers running back Isaac Redman and Houston Texans linebacker Delano Johnson.
“We are very fortunate with graduating our players and to have two players from BSU in the last four years remain on NFL rosters,” Wilson said. “In order to continue to prepare our players for the possible opportunity to play at the highest level, I believe that my coaching staff and I must take advantage of every opportunity that we receive to experience an internship like this one.”