June 28, 2010
The Pittsburgh Steelers organization has announced that Benny Boyd, Luther College assistant football coach, has been selected to join the Steelers for their training camp as part of the Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship Program.
Boyd will be with the Steelers from the beginning of training camp located at Saint Vincent College, Latrobe, Penn., through their first preseason game against the Detroit Lions at Heinz Stadium on Aug. 8. Boyd will be working with both special teams coordinator Al Everest and defensive backs coach Ray Horton. The Steelers report to training camp on Friday, July 30 with the first practice scheduled for Saturday, July 31.
The Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship, designed to expose talented minority college coaches to the methods and philosophies of summer NFL training camps, was introduced to the league by Walsh in 1987 when he brought in a group of such coaches into his San Francisco 49ers training camp. The program has grown to the point that now every NFL team participates in it at every training camp. Last summer, a record 90 minority coaches were invited to NFL camps for planning and participating in practice sessions, working with players, and learning from coaches with more experience.
Mike Tomlin, Steelers head coach and the youngest head coach (36) in Super Bowl history, is a graduate of the internship and endorses its effectiveness. Tomlin interned with the Cleveland Browns in the summer of 2000 when he was defensive backs coach at the University of Cincinnati. “I came into the league as a minority intern with the Browns when I coached college football,” Tomlin said. “That was a great avenue to expose the NFL to me. Really, prior to that, I had no intentions whatsoever of coaching in the NFL. I left that internship committed to coaching in the league because it was such a positive experience.”
Mike Durnin, Luther's head coach, said, “We are extremely excited for Coach Boyd, and this will be a great opportunity for Benny to learn from the highest level of football and from an outstanding coaching staff and organization. Benny has worked hard throughout his career, and this fellowship is a reflection of those efforts. The knowledge Benny will acquire from this experience will greatly enhance our players and this program for years to come.”
Boyd, a native of Dixon, Ill., is a 2000 graduate of Aurora University. This past year, he was also selected as a participant in the NCAA Football Coaches Academy.
Following an outstanding collegiate career where he was a three-year starter and twice named all-conference at defensive back, he served as a graduate assistant at his alma mater for two years. In 2002, he joined the Luther staff as defensive back coach. Since 2004, he has served as the co-defensive coordinator and special teams administrator. He also serves as an instructor in the Luther health and physical education department.