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The passion for football never dies

at least not for former St. Louis Ram

Ron Carpenter.

With the help of an internship from the NFLPA/NCAA Coaching
Internship Program, the former NFL defensive back was given an
opportunity this season to get back on the eld, even after hanging
up his helmet and cleats. As the Assistant Coach for Defensive Backs,
Carpenter became the newest addition to the Central State University
Marauders football team.
Ive been coaching at my old high school for the past six years, but
I knew I wanted to get into the college or NFL level for coaching,
Carpenter said. So once I heard about the opportunity to coach
through the NFLPA, I jumped on it.
The NFLPA/NCAA Coaching Internship Program was created in 2006
by the NFLPA, NFL, NCAA and American Football Coaches
Association. It was initially created to provide additional experience
to retired players who interned with NFL Europe, but after the league
ceased operation in 2007, it became the primary program to aid former
players hoping to break into coaching.
Carpenter had an extensive professional career, with stints in the NFL,
XFL, AFL and NFL Europe. He was a member of the St. Louis team
that won Super Bowl XXXIV and later helped the Los Angeles Xtreme
capture the championship in the XFLs sole year of existence. He was
also a top playmaker for the AFLs Detroit Fury.
Ive seen how different organizations are run from the inside and out,
as a player, a coach and an administrator, Carpenter said. All those
experiences have given me a wealth of information that I can use
moving forward.
This is not the rst time, however, that Central State has beneted
from the experience of former NFL players. First-year head coach E.J.
Junior joined the Marauders team this season after years of playing and
coaching in the NFL, which included an internship with NFL Europe.
Getting a coaching job is all about who you know, and its about
creating that relationship so youll understand what they are looking for
as far as coaching styles, Junior said. You really need to put the time
in and pay your dues.
A former offensive guard/center in the NFL, Central States Assistant
Offensive Line Coach Larry Moore also began his coaching career
Keep Players in the Game
with the NFLPA/NCAA program last year at Bridgewater
College in Virginia. Anyone who is a player, retired player,
or someone thinking about retiringif you have a passion
for football and you want to keep it going, then give the
internship a shot, Moore said. It really opens your eyes to
a whole other side of football you never really thought of.
For Carpenter, the positive experience can also be reective of
a coaching staff full of NFL ties. We have a commonality and
we speak the same language, Carpenter said. The coaching
experience could not have been any greater. We are all on the
same page [and] we all come from the same school, which is
the school of the NFL.
The NFLPA/NCAA Coaching Internship Program is part of
an ongoing NFLPA initiative to assist players in preparing for
their post-playing careers. Applicants are required to submit
a letter explaining why they want the internship, what would
make them a good coach and how the experience would t
into their career goals.
For more information about the program, please contact the NFLPA
Player Development Department at (800) 372-2000.
*Arena Football
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Ron Carpenter
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