MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The 2023 Reese’s Senior Bowl will look a bit different in Mobile with “nominated” National Football League assistants heading the National & American team rosters, according to an NFL Network report Wednesday afternoon.
The news comes one year after the East-West Shrine All-Star Bowl relocated to Las Vegas with participants coached by NFL assistants for the first time in event history.
According to NFL Network, the 2023 East-West teams will be coached by full NFL staffs, compared to the Reese’s Senior Bowl, which will be coached by NFL “nominated” assistants for the first time since the event was played in Mobile dating back to 1951.
Reese’s Senior Bowl Executive Director Jim Nagy released a statement Wednesday addressing the new changes:
The Reese’s Senior Bowl fully embraces the new all-star coaching format and we are excited for what the changes will bring to our game. Last year’s initiatives of promoting from within the full staffs and adding HBCU coaches were both hugely successful and we see great benefit of having a collection of NFL assistant coaches from non-playoff teams on a yearly rotational basis. Most importantly, this is a positive for our players in that they will now potentially be exposed to coaches from over half the league’s teams. The Reese’s Senior Bowl will always be in support of league programs aimed at promoting diversity in hiring.Jim Nagy, Reese’s Senior Bowl Executive Director
The new plan is to rotate the staff every other year. The 2024 Senior Bowl will get back to “normal” with full NFL coaching staff followed by 2026 and so on. It remains to be seen how the recent changes affect the rosters for both games.
Last season, the two teams were coached by the entire Detroit Lions and New York Jets coaching staffs led by Dan Campbell and Robert Saleh. Several legendary NFL coaches have led both squads including Don Shula back in 1970 and more recently, current San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan in 2019.
The 2022 Senior Bowl field included six first-round draft picks, 45 taken in the first three rounds. According to the Senior Bowl website, all 32 NFL teams drafted at least one player while 12 teams selected four or more in the 2022 NFL Draft.
The 2023 Reese’s Senior Bowl is set for February 3 at Hancock Whitney Stadium. It is unclear when the “nominated” NFL assistants will be announced, but expect an announcement to follow the 2022-23 college football season.