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Buccaneers Name Five Fellows for 2024 Training Camp Following Inaugural National Coaching Academy

First group of National Coaching Academy participants to take part in training camp experience


Following the inaugural Tampa Bay Buccaneers National Coaching Academy, the organization has selected five fellows that will continue their work with the Bucs' coaching staff as the team prepares for the 2024 regular season. Ester Alencar, Earl Chambers, Cody Cruzen, Jeremy Patterson and Kearstin Schweitzer will all make their return to Tampa later this summer to represent the inaugural class.

These five coaches took part in an immersive weeklong academy this past May, hearing from individuals all throughout the organization on both the football operations and business administration sides, including Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles, general manager Jason Licht, legendary former head coach Bruce Arians and Pro Football Hall of Famers Tony Dungy and Ronde Barber. In addition, the group got a firsthand look at rookie minicamp, working directly with the Buccaneers coaching staff throughout.

"We were very impressed with all of the coaches that took part in the inaugural Buccaneers National Coaching Academy, and we're excited to get these five back here to spend more time with us," said Bowles. "At the core of the Academy, we want to provide pathways to coaches looking for an entry point into the NFL and our training camp will give this group an invaluable chance to continue to learn and develop."

A native of Curitiba, Brazil, Alencar began playing tackle football at the age of 17, quickly transitioning into a player-coach role while studying Physical Education at Universidade Federal do Paraná. Since then, she has occupied roles on both the men's and women's sides, currently serving as the Quarterback Coach for the Brazilian National Team, as well as the Women's Flag Football Head Coach for Rio Preto Weilers and the Quarterback Coach for the men's squad. As an athlete, she currently plays quarterback for the Brazilian National Flag Football Team, set to play in Finland at the IFAF Flag Football World Championship following training camp.

With over 20 years of coaching experience on his resume, Chambers returns to Tampa from Kentucky State University, where he currently works as the program's defensive coordinator. Throughout his career, Chambers has made stops at the Division I, II and III levels, winning two national championships and two conference championships, while making five playoff appearances and five bowl games. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chambers began his coaching career in Athens in 2000 as a defensive quality control coach for the Bulldogs.

Entering his 14th season in coaching, Cruzen has experience working at the Division I, II and III levels in the collegiate ranks. Throughout his career, he has coached 27 All-Conference players, three All-Americans and three that eventually spent time in the National Football League. He began his coaching career in 2011 at his alma mater, Ohio Northern University, as a graduate assistant, following a four-year playing career as a safety for the Polar Bears.

Now working as the Assistant Head Coach, Special Teams Coordinator and Linebacker Coach at Mississippi Delta Community College, Patterson has participated in a number of roles throughout his young coaching career. Prior to joining the Trojans, Patterson spent the 2023 season at Mississippi Valley State University serving as the Assistant Head Coach, Special Teams Coordinator and Linebacker Coach where his unit led the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) in kickoff return yards and was fourth in yards per return, top five in kickoff coverage and led the nation in fake punts with a perfect 5-for-5 conversion rate. He began his coaching career as a student assistant at Lane College, where he would graduate with a degree in Criminal Justice. Since then, he has obtained his Master's of Education from Northcentral University and is currently pursuing his doctorate from Mississippi State University.

Rounding out this year's fellows, Schweitzer is a recent graduate of University of Wisconsin at Platteville, where she obtained her Master's of Sports Administration this past May. In her time in Platteville, she worked as the Director of Football Operations and Assistant Wide Receivers Coach as a graduate assistant, coordinating all travel for the team while working alongside the Wide Receivers Coach. Schweitzer is a previous Nunn-Wooten fellow with the Pittsburgh Steelers, working as a scouting intern in 2023. Her coaching career began at her alma mater at Lakeland University, starting out as a Football Manager in 2018.

Four of the coaches will serve as Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellows. For more than 30 years, the leaguewide initiative has provided talented coaches opportunities to observe, participate, gain experience and ultimately land an NFL coaching position during league training camps, mini-camps and offseason workout programs.

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