The Chicago Bears have announced five coaches will join head coach Matt Nagy’s staff for training camp as part of the NFL’s Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship, which is in its 32nd year. The program’s objective is to use NFL club’s camps to give coaches opportunities to observe, participate, gain experience and ultimately gain a full-time NFL coaching position.
The five coaches include Satyen Bhakta (Cornell; defensive line), Stan Clayton (Stetson; offensive line), Osagie Osunde (West Chester; running backs), Napoleon Sykes (XFL Washington, outside line backers) and Chris Thompson (XFL New York; tight ends).
Bhakta has served as the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Cornell University since 2013. This is his third time participating in the Bill Walsh coaching fellowship program as he was with the Pittsburgh Steelers for training camp in 2012 and the Kansas City Chiefs in 2011. Prior to his tenure at Cornell he served as an assistant coach at Colorado School of Mines (2011-12), Susquehanna University (2009-2010) and Temple University (06-08). Bhakta is a former quarterback playing at Temple (2001-04) where he lettered his senior season.
Clayton enters his second season as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Stetson University. His previous coaching stops include Morgan State (2017), Lafayette (2009-16), University of Toledo (2006-08), Princeton (2000-05), Alabama State University (1998-99), and University of Massachusetts (1996-97). This will mark his seventh time participating in the Bill Walsh coaching fellowship program and his fourth time doing so with the Bears. He spent three consecutive summers with the Bears (1997-1999) under former coaches Dave Wannstedt and Dick Jauron as well as summer training camps with the New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, and Tennessee Titans. He played offensive line at Penn State where he was a member of the 1986 national championship team and was an honorable mention All-American in 1987. He was selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the 10th round in 1988. He played two years with the Falcons (1988-89) and one season with the New England Patriots (1990).
Osunde carries the duties of running backs coach, run game and recruiting coordinator at West Chester University. He has been the full-time running backs coach since 2012. He had previously volunteered to aid the program from 2010-11. In his seven seasons guiding the running backs four of his players have rushed for a 1,000-yard season. Osunde, a graduate of West Chester in 2007 is one of the most successful players in program history. The former running back’s 51 career rushing touchdowns stills stands as a school record and is the only West Chester player to surpass 2,000 all-purpose yards in a season.
Sykes was recently hired as an operations analyst and outside linebackers coach for the Washington XFL franchise for the league’s re-launch season starting in 2020. Most recently he was the outside linebackers coach for the United States Naval Academy for the past three seasons (2016-18). Sykes also has served as an assistant coach for University of North Carolina at Charlotte (2012-16), assistant coach for Navy (2010) and a graduate assistant for Wake Forest (2008-09). He played linebacker for the Demon Deacons where he was a three-time letter winner. Sykes began his coaching career in the high school ranks in 2006 as an assistant coach at his high school alma mater, the Gilman School, in Baltimore. He also spent brief stints as defensive coordinator for the semi-pro Bay Atlantic Sharks and co-defensive coordinator at Charlotte’s Mallard Creek H.S.
Thompson was recently been hired by the New York XFL team as manager of football operations. Most recently he worked as the director of football operations for the Atlanta Legends of the Alliance of American Football (2019). Previously his background has been in Arena football leagues, as he served as offensive coordinator and director of football operations for the Albany Empire of the Arena Football League (2018) and head coach and assistant general manager of the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks (2011-2017). Under his guidance he led the Steelhawks to six straight playoff appearances and a trip to the National Conference Championship in 2014. He was named the NAL (National Arena League) coach of the year in 2017. The accomplished arena coach also coaches a team in the annual college football all-star game for the FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) the FCS National Bowl, every year since 2012.
For more information on the Bill Walsh Coaching Fellowship, visit NFL.com.