The Jacksonville Jaguars are hosting three coaching interns for the 2006 training camp as part of the NFL's Minority Coaching Fellowship Program. The Jaguars have selected Jackson State head coach Rick Comegy along with former NFL players William Bell and Cheston Blackshear.
The program, which began in 1987, has given numerous coaches an opportunity to get first-hand NFL coaching experience. The program has produced current NFL head coaches Herman Edwards of the Kansas City Chiefs (fellowship in 1989 with Kansas City), Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals (fellowship in 1988 with San Francisco and 1991 with Kansas City) and Lovie Smith of the Chicago Bears (fellowship in 1988 with Arizona).
"As coaches, we're always learning from each other," said Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio. "Having Coach Comegy join us this summer is a good example of that. Here is a man with 13 years of head coaching experience at the college level, yet he's in camp working with us and learning. We hope to learn some things from these guys as well. The league's Minority Coaching Fellowship Program has been very beneficial for a lot of coaches, and we continue to support it."
Comegy has been in coaching since 1975 and has been a head coach at the collegiate level for a total of 13 years. Comegy is in his first year as the head coach at Jackson State. As the head coach of Tuskegee from 1996-2005, he led his team to the school's first ever undefeated season and the Black College National Championship in 2000. Comegy produced four NFL draft picks including Drayton Florence (San Diego Chargers, second round) as well as former Jaguars defensive back Anthony Mitchell, who is currently a member of the Cincinnati Bengals.
Bell is the running backs coach, recruiting coordinator and video coordinator at Edward Waters College. Bell played running back for the Washington Redskins from 1994-97 and served as the special teams captain in 1995. While at Georgia Tech, Bell helped lead his team to an appearance in the 1990 national championship game and appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
Blackshear was a three-year starter on the offensive line at the University of Florida and a member of the 1996 National Championship team. He was the recipient of the 2000 Fergie Ferguson Award for outstanding leadership, courage and character. Blackshear is in his second season as tight ends coach at Columbia University. He served as a graduate assistant at the University of Florida and the University of Illinois along with being an NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship Intern for the Miami Dolphins in 2003. Blackshear participated in training camp with the Carolina Panthers in 2000 before playing for the XFL's Orlando Rage as part of an offensive line that cleared the way for the league's top rushing attack