The NFL today announced the head coaches for the 2018 EAST-WEST SHRINE GAME – JONATHAN HAYES of the Cincinnati Bengals and BOBBY JOHNSON of the Oakland Raiders.
Hayes, who will serve as the head coach the East team, has spent the past 15 seasons (2003-present) as the Bengals' tight ends coach. Over Hayes' tenure, his tight ends have contributed to the run-blocking efforts for eight 1,000-yard rushers and two players (TYLER EIFERT and JERMAINE GRESHAM) earned Pro Bowl nods under his tutelage. A 12-year NFL veteran with the Kansas City Chiefs (1985-1993) and Pittsburgh Steelers (1994-96), Hayes appeared in 184 career games with 122 starts, recording 153 catches for 1,718 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Johnson, who will coach the West team, is a 23-year coaching veteran at both the professional and collegiate levels and has spent the past three seasons (2015-17) as the Raiders' tight ends coach. Prior to joining Oakland's staff, Johnson spent five seasons with the Detroit Lions (2013-14), Jacksonville Jaguars (2013) and Buffalo Bills (2010-11). A native of Akron, OH, Johnson played tackle at Miami (Ohio), starting on the offensive line for three seasons from 1992-94.
"Our partnership with the NFL has once again given us two excellent head coaches," said HAROLD RICHARDSON, executive director of the East-West Shrine Game. "Jonathan Hayes and Bobby Johnson are both outstanding coaches and certainly up-and-coming NFL head coaching prospects. It is not only a great opportunity for them, but it is also a great learning experience for our players as they prepare for their NFL careers."
At the conclusion of the NFL regular season, teams nominated deserving assistant coaches who were reviewed by a panel that includes NFL Football Operations staff, East-West Shrine Game leadership and two members of the NFL's General Managers Advisory Committee. Once the head coaches are selected, each head coach then fills his 12-person staff from among other NFL assistant coaches nominated by the clubs, a key job requirement for head coaches at every level of the sport.
Coaches nominated by NFL clubs must be active assistant coaches who display extraordinary teaching and communications skills, and are recognized for their integrity and commitment to excellence in the coaching profession. The coaches must be accomplished at developing and preparing players to compete in the NFL.
The NFL also provides the game officials for the contest.
The 93rd annual East-West Shrine Game, which features some of college football's best prospects, will kick off at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 20, from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida and be televised live on NFL Network.
For more than 90 years, some of football's greatest players and coaches have contributed to the tradition of the East-West Shrine Game, the nation's first college all-star football game. Created by the Shriners in 1925, the game is driven by the desire to support Shriners Hospitals for Children in its mission to help children in need of expert medical care. Participating players make an annual visit to the local Shriners Hospital, visiting children and staff in an experience that they will truly never forget.