Florida A&M University alumnus and standout football student-athlete Terry Jefferson was one of the first two recipients on Tuesday to receive the Pioli Family Fund for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Coaches and Scouts.
The fund was established last fall to help young football coaches and scouts pursue career advancement opportunities. Jefferson, recruiting coordinator at the University of Miami and James Bullock III, a scouting apprentice with the Los Angeles Rams, became the first two earn the honor.
“I am so thankful to be recognized by the Pioli Family Fund,” said Jefferson. “This fund will also pave the way for me to create other opportunities for young African American coaches in this business who strive to make it to the highest levels of coaching football.”
Jefferson earned two degrees while attending FAMU. The Miami native received his bachelor’s in health and leisure fitness in 2018 and obtained a master’s degree in sports management in 2019.
Scott Pioli, a former college coach and longtime executive in the National Football League (NFL), along with his family, established the endowed fund to create more opportunities for men and women affiliated with HBCUs in the game of football. The program continues Pioli’s long association with the Black College Football Hall of Fame and the family’s efforts to increase opportunities in the game across race and gender.
Applications for the grants were accepted from current coaches and scouts at HBCUs or from graduates of HBCUs who are serving as football coaches or scouts and are pursing career advancement at the collegiate or professional level.
“No one is more deserving of this than Terry Jefferson,” FAMU head football coach Willie Simmons said. “He has always exemplified hard work, and we are proud of him continuing to work hard at the University of Miami.”
Jefferson will receive a $6,000 grant from the Pioli Family Fund as the money can be used for expenses related to their professional development.
When the fund was announced last October, Pioli said it was the family’s hope that it would “serve Black coaches and scouts from HBCUs with career aspirations in football” as a tool to help make the game better. Recipients may use the money to reimburse job-related expenses, such as housing or travel costs, involved in advancing their careers in college or professional football.