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Bears announce Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellows


The Bears have announced six coaches who will join head coach Matt Eberflus' staff for minicamp and training camp as part of the NFL's Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship Program. The program's objective is to use NFL club's preparations in advance of the regular season to give opportunities to observe, participate and gain experience, with the ultimate goal of earning a full-time NFL coaching position.

"We are very excited to welcome six new coaches to join our coaching staff during our 2024 veteran minicamp and training camp sessions," Eberflus said. "We are confident that these six coaches will be outstanding assets to our coaching staff, and we are looking forward to learning from each other and growing together. I'm excited to see them gain experience and develop as coaches and people over the course of training camp."

The six coaches joining Eberflus' staff are Michael Bellamy II (assistant wide receivers/senior offensive analyst/special teams assistant, Howard), Stefon Wheeler (run game coordinator/offensive line coach, Yale), Angela Rowe (head flag football coach, Huntingdon College), Michael Bearden (assistant wide receivers graduate assistant, Notre Dame), Yosef Fares (head coach, Justin Garza High School) and Anthony Blevins (head coach, Las Vegas Vipers). Bellamy, Wheeler, Rowe, Bearden and Fares will join the coaching staff for minicamp beginning Monday, June 3, and for training camp, while Blevins will join the team at the start of training camp in July.

A former member of the Bears (1993), Bellamy returns to his native Chicago after spending last season with Howard University, where he served as the assistant wide receivers and special teams coach, as well as a senior offensive analyst and pro liaison for the Bisons. Prior to his tenure at Howard, Bellamy was a coach and advising consultant for Offseason Sports Consulting Group in 2021. He also served as the running backs coach at the University of Illinois from 2019-21, where he helped Reggie Corbin and Dre Brown achieve All-Big Ten honors in 2019, and guided Chase Brown (Bengals) and Mike Epstein to repeat the honors in 2020. Bellamy's coaching experience also includes roles coaching wide receivers such as Cody Thompson (Seahawks) and All-Pro Diontae Johnson (Panthers) at the University of Toledo (2017-19), Mississippi State University (2016-17) and Pro Bowler Justin Hardee (Browns) at the University of Illinois (2013-16). In 2015, he was honored with the Big Ten Wide Receiver Coach of the Year Award.

Before embarking on his coaching career, Bellamy was the assistant director of player personnel at the University of Illinois for two years (2012-13). A former professional player, Bellamy spent three seasons with the Frankfurt Galaxy (NFL Europe) and six seasons as a wide receiver in the NFL. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the second round of the 1990 NFL Draft (50th overall), contributing to the rosters of the Eagles, Colts, Raiders and Bears.

Bellamy's collegiate achievements include being named a Junior College All-American at the College of DuPage in 1987 along with earning Second-Team All-American and First-Team All-Big Ten honors at the University of Illinois in 1989. He was inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame in 2008.

Wheeler currently serves as the offensive line coach at Yale University. In 2023, Wheeler tutored eventual Bears third-round draft selection Kiran Amegadjie. With Wheeler's guidance, the Bulldogs were the 2023 Ivy League Champions. Wheeler's offensive line also had three players receive All-Ivy League Honors and played a large role in the Bulldogs' offense ranking second in the League in rushing yards. Before arriving in New Haven, Wheeler spent four seasons at the University of Rhode Island, where he spent the 2019-21 seasons as the offensive line coach. Expanding his duties in 2022 as the offensive line/run game coordinator, Wheeler helped three offensive linemen to All-Coastal Athletic Association (CAA) Honors. The Rams also ranked third in their conference in rushing yards and fourth in total offense.

Entering the collegiate ranks in 2014 as a graduate assistant at Wagner College, primarily working with the offensive line, Wheeler was promoted to the program's offensive line coach in 2015. Following two seasons as offensive line coach, Wheeler was promoted to run game coordinator/offensive line coach in 2017. Wheeler began coaching career at Passaic High School (N.J.), where he served as the offensive and defensive line coach from 2008- 10, before serving in a variety of offensive roles, including offensive coordinator, at Milford Academy Prep in New Berlin, N.Y., from 2010-13. Prior to beginning his coaching career, Wheeler was a four-year letterman at Michigan State University and three-year starter at left tackle (2001-05). Wheeler then held a brief stint with the New Orleans Saints in 2006, before joining the Cologne Centurions of NFL Europe in 2007. Wheeler concluded his playing career with the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL (2007).

Rowe, who currently leads the flag football program at Huntingdon College (Ala.), enters her second season as a Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellow after participating in the program in 2023 with the Atlanta Falcons. Rowe culminated her first season at Huntingdon in 2023 after previously leading the program at Bethel College (Kan.) for the previous two seasons (2021-22). Prior to her time in the collegiate ranks, Rowe was a quality control advisor for the Atlanta Empire (X-League) in January 2021 and the head coach of the Atlanta Phoenix (WNFC) from October 2019 to June 2021. Rowe was also the head coach of Sandy Springs Flex Football in the fall of 2021. There, she taught the introduction to Flex Football as a bridge to full contact, held instructional camps and implemented pre-practices for better understanding and installation.

Prior to her time with Flex Football, Rowe served as co-head coach at Reloaded Flag in Atlanta (2015-18) and was defensive coordinator for the Atlanta Ravens of the IWFL (2010-11). She also spent July 2006 to October 2009 as defensive coordinator at the Columbia School in Atlanta. Rowe earned her bachelor's degree in communications from Western Carolina, is a two-time Independent Women's Football League champion and an eight-time Atlanta Women's Flag Football League MVP.

Go back to school to check out who and when the Bears will play this season.

Bearden currently serves as a graduate assistant at the University of Notre Dame, where he works with the wide receivers. He has been in his current role since February 2023, and directly helps the offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach with on-field coaching, drill work, football-related content and other special projects. Prior to his time in South Bend, Bearden spent time with the UCLA Bruins in two different roles. In the winter of 2023, he was promoted to assistant special teams coordinator & specialist coach after spending the 2022 season as an analyst working with special teams and outside linebackers.

Bearden also spent time at Northwestern, serving as a student video assistant from 2018-19, working with the defensive backs in a student assistant capacity (2020) and quarterbacks/wide receivers (2021-22). Bearden earned his bachelor's degree in education & social policy from Northwestern and has contributed to programs that have made four bowl game appearances (2018 Holiday Bowl, 2021 Citrus Bowl, 2022 Sun Bowl, 2023 Sun Bowl).

Fares begins his third Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship in 2024 after aiding the Falcons' staff in 2022 and 2023. He has been coaching high school football in California since 2003 while also serving as a physical education teacher. Fares is currently the head coach of Justin Garza High School in Fresno, Calif., and has been there since 2020. He built the program from scratch and finished third in the Country/Metro League in 2023.

Before his time at Garza, Fares spent over 15 years as a coach for Bullard High School, also in Fresno, serving in a variety of roles. He was named head varsity football coach in January 2019 and stayed in that role until August 2020. During his time at Bullard, Fares served as a junior varsity assistant coach (2003-04), varsity offensive/defensive line coach (2007-12), varsity special teams coordinator (2011-12) and varsity defensive coordinator (2013-15). He was also the head varsity wrestling coach from 2015-16. Fares earned his bachelor's degree in kinesiology from Cal State-Fresno (2011) and his Master of Science in Education (2022).

Blevins returns to the Bears after serving as a Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching fellow in 2008, where he aided the defensive line. He also participated in the fellowship with the Cardinals in 2010 (running backs) and Colts in 2011 (defensive backs). Blevins was named the head coach of the Las Vegas Vipers of the XFL in 2023. Prior to accepting the head coaching position in the XFL, he spent 10 years coaching in the NFL. Blevins' most recent NFL experience was as an assistant coach with the New York Giants from 2018-22. With the Giants, he served in a variety of different roles, including assistant special teams coach (2018-19, 21-22), assistant linebackers coach (2021) and assistant secondary coach (2020).

Prior to serving on the staff of the Giants, Blevins held the role of assistant special teams coach for the Cardinals from 2013-17. Before coaching in the NFL, Blevins spent nine seasons at the collegiate level, with stops at his alma mater, UAB (2012), Tennessee State (2009-11), Tennessee-Martin (2008) and Mississippi State (2005-07). Blevins served as an assistant coach for Meadowcreek High School from 2003-04. He was also an assistant coach at Alabama State in 1999. A native of Birmingham, Ala., Blevins played collegiately at his hometown UAB (1994-98), contributing as a defensive back, outside linebacker and tailback, before playing three seasons of professional football in the AFL, RFL and XFL. Blevins achieved a bachelor's degree in sociology form UAB in 1998, as well as a Master of Science in Instructional Technology (2006) and a Ph.D. in Instructional Systems & Workforce Development (2015) from Mississippi State University.

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