The Los Angeles Rams have announced their Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellows for the 2023 offseason program. The fellowship is a continuation of the team's efforts to strengthen the NFL's diverse talent and provides experience to outstanding coaches from different backgrounds.
This year's program began at the start of the second week of OTAs on Tuesday, May 30, and will continue through the end of mandatory Mini Camp on Thursday, June 15.
The fellowship is named after the late Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach, who first introduced this concept to the NFL in 1987 when he brought a group of minority coaches to San Francisco 49ers' training camp. The fellowship is designed as a vocational tool to increase the number of full-time NFL minority coaches in the league while exposing fellows to the methods and philosophies of an NFL coaching staff.
Below is a list of the Rams' 2023 Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellows:
Daren Bates signed with the Rams as an undrafted free agent out of Auburn in 2013 and had a nine-year NFL career. He appeared in 125 games, mostly on special teams, and tallied 16 tackles (11 solo), two pass breakups, one pass defensed and one pressure. Bates spent time with the Rams (2013-15), the Oakland Raiders (2016), the Tennessee Titans (2017-20), and the Atlanta Falcons (2021) during his playing career. He appeared in 50 games for the Auburn Tigers (2009-12) and tallied 175 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks, three interceptions, 12 passes defensed, two forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. He will assist Rams' Special Teams Coordinator Chase Blackburn and Special Teams Assistant Jeremy Springer during the fellowship program.
Former Rams Defensive Back and Super Bowl LVI Champion Donte Deayon is rejoining the team as a coaching fellow and will mentor the cornerbacks with Rams' Defensive Backs Coach Aubrey Pleasant. Deayon played in the NFL for five seasons, including two with the New York Giants (2017-18) and three with the Rams (2019-21). During his pro career, he appeared in 21 games (one start) and notched 43 tackles (35 solo), four pass breakups, five passes defensed, two tackles for loss, one fumble recovery and one pressure. Deayon played his collegiate ball at Boise State (2012-15), where he was a three-time All-Mountain West Second Team selection (2013-15). His 17 career interceptions are fifth on Boise State's all-time list and third all-time in the Mountain West Conference.
Chuckie Keeton will assist Rams' Running Backs Coach Ron Gould and currently serves as an offensive analyst at Marshall. He has coached at other collegiate programs such as Oregon State, Texas Tech, and Utah State, where he played quarterback and earned All-WAC honors. Keeton's record-setting career at Utah State spanned a total of five seasons (2011-15). He finished his college career with more than 10 school records, ranked first in total offense (8,808 yards) and touchdown passes (62), and led the Aggies to their first outright title since 1936. Keeton attended rookie Mini Camp with the Houston Texans before beginning his coaching career.
Auburn University's Defensive Analyst Vontrell King-Williams will work with the team's defensive line alongside Rams' Defensive Line Coach/Run Game Coordinator Eric Henderson. His previous coaching stops include Eastern Michigan and Liberty. King-Williams played collegiately at the University of Illinois, Butler Community College, and UTSA (2012-16) before joining the UTSA coaching staff as an intern in 2017.
Former NFL player Corey Liuget will also assist Henderson and the defensive line during the fellowship program. Liuget played 10 seasons in the NFL and had stints with the Los Angeles Chargers (2011-18), Buffalo Bills (2019) and Houston Texans (2020). He played in 124 games (87 starts) and registered 291 tackles (219 solo), 66 tackles for loss, 26.0 sacks, 183 pressures, six forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries and one defensive touchdown. Liuget was drafted by the Chargers in the first round (18th overall) of the 2011 NFL draft out of the University of Illinois.
Kyle Washington serves as the quarterbacks coach at Northwestern State in Louisiana and will assist the receivers alongside Rams' Receivers Coach Eric Yarber. As a quarterback at Angelo State (2011-14), he became the first player in ASU history to throw for over 3,000 yards. He broke the ASU single-season records for passing yards (3,236) and touchdowns (34) his senior year. That season, Washington also rushed for 911 yards and nine touchdowns. In 2014, he was the LSC Player of the Year and the LSC Academic Player of the Year. Following college graduation, he coached at his alma mater and proceeded to make coaching stops at McNeese State and Franklin Pierce.