Monte Poole: 'Life coach' Lamonte Winston will try to protect the Oakland Raiders' greatest assets: The players

Posted: May 15, 2012 at 9:16 pm


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LaMonte Wilson is the Oakland Raiders' first full-time director of player engagement.

In a multibillion-dollar industry with multimillion-dollar talent, it's good business practice to protect and maintain the most valuable assets. The Raiders, after years of resistance, finally have.

Not long after the new coaching staff was assembled, first-year general manager Reggie McKenzie hired the team's first full-time director of player engagement.

Lamonte Winston's title, however, is corporate-speak. Some call him a life coach. The essence of his job is to be whatever the players and coaches need him to be.

It's a very big task, one in which Winston's impact can be every bit as significant as that of head coach Dennis Allen. D.A. is in Oakland to prepare players to win games on the field. Winston is here to help them navigate challenges off the field.

"You have (Human Resources) for everybody in the building," he says in a rich, firm baritone. "Well, why wouldn't you have H.R. for the players? They're employees. Reggie and Coach Allen understand it's about providing H.R. benefits for players and coaches.

"It's no different than Google. We have talented people. They are a product. They have to produce. When they're not, you can't just fire everybody. The league is not built that way. So we want to provide a model and a basis of education and support for the players and their families."

Winston is highly respected in the NFL, having spent 17 seasons in Kansas City, the first three as a scout and the last 14

Though assistant defensive backs coach Willie Brown was asked to assume similar duties in Oakland, the Raiders had never devoted a full-time specialist to the position. Winston will be assisted by longtime Raiders employee Pete Caracciolo.

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Monte Poole: 'Life coach' Lamonte Winston will try to protect the Oakland Raiders' greatest assets: The players

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May 15th, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Posted in Life Coaching