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Tony Dews, Brian Gardner to Represent Titans in Inaugural NFL Coach and Front Office Accelerator Program


NASHVILLE – More than 60 diverse head coach and general manager candidates from all 32 clubs and the league office will take part in the inaugural NFL coach and front office Accelerator Program slated for next week at the NFL Spring Meetings in Atlanta.

Running backs coach Tony Dews and Director of Pro Scouting Brian Gardner will represent the Titans.

The program is part of the NFL's ongoing commitment to promote greater coach and C-suite level diversity among clubs.

According to a release from the NFL, the program will provide senior women and minority prospects with leadership development sessions with football operations experts and facilitators, as well as time spent networking directly with club owners. The effort is designed to continue building a diverse hiring pipeline for future head coach and general manager positions throughout the League.

The Titans nominated Dews and Gardner as their rising prospects. In addition to leadership development and sessions on the business of football, attendees will engage in candid discussions on how to take the next step in becoming a coach or front office executive.

"The NFL is committed to diversity and inclusion, and this program is the latest in a series of steps designed to improve our hiring practices and create opportunities for advancement," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "The program helps ensure that clubs receive exposure to high-performing, up-and-coming NFL talent and candidates get a chance to learn the business on a working level from team owners and executives."

Dews is set to begin his fifth season with the Titans as running backs coach after spending 20 years in the college coaching ranks.

A native of Reston, Va., Dews played tight end at Liberty University from 1992-95 and was the Flames' leading receiver among tight ends his final two years. He graduated from Liberty in 1997 and earned a master's degree from West Virginia in 2001 before embarking on his coaching career.

Gardner is headed into his 29th NFL season, including his seventh with the Titans as Director of Pro Scouting.

Gardner joined the Titans in 2014 after seven seasons with the Texans as Director of Pro Personnel. His primary responsibilities included managing the Pro Personnel department, coordinating the advance scouting of Texans' opponents, coordinating the recruiting and signing of NFL free agents, organizing player tryouts and monitoring NFL transactions. Gardner also managed the evaluation of all active players in the NFL, as well as talent in other professional football leagues, including the Canadian Football League, the United Football League, and the Arena Football League.

A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Gardner played receiver at Nicholls State and was a three-year starter at wide receiver at Prairie View A&M, where he graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Communications.

"I think the Accelerator is some of the most important work the League and our committee will do all year because the potential of the program is exponential," said Owner and Chairman, Blank Family of Businesses Arthur Blank. "It's an unprecedented opportunity for emerging leaders, owners and team leadership to get to know each other better over these two days, and the relationships formed in this setting will be integral to future hiring cycles."

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