First & Goal

These movers and shakers are scoring touchdowns in the NFL

league in signing their rookie draft choices.

Being a trailblazer in the NFL isn’t a role Huyghue takes lightly, especially since he’s keenly aware of the scant number of African American executives in the front office of NFL clubs. Perhaps that’s why he usually arrives at the Jaguars’ headquarters at 6:30 a.m. to pore over newspapers and NFL newsletters and league reports. Huyghue brings that thoroughness and efficiency to all that he does, including negotiating all player contracts, administering the $52 million salary cap and directing all football operations. He answers directly to the team president and CEO Wayne Weaver.

“There aren’t many blacks in the job that I have and I think that my age, combined with that fact, causes more scrutiny at times,” says Huyghue. “I recognize it has implications greater than just myself. If I’m successful, it will be recognized and that’s going to have an impact on decisions that other people will make. I’m also in a position to steer some people in that direction by making them aware of minority candidates so I think it gives me a platform for change.”

Huyghue was one of the first people Weaver recruited after starting the team in 1993. Glance quickly at Huyghue’s qualifications and you’ll understand why. Before coming to Jacksonville, he was the Detroit Lions’ vice president of administration and general counsel. In 1992, he served as vice president of administration and general counsel for the World League. During the 1991 season, he served as the general manager of the Birmingham Fire, which he helped lead to the North American West Division Championship.

Huyghue doesn’t just pay lip service to opening doors for other blacks. Just ask Quentin Williams, director of player development and staff counsel for the Jaguars, who Huyghue brought on staff in February 1998. When Williams isn’t hammering out the legal aspects of salary cap and player contract negotiation, he’s donning his other cap, the one where he’s responsible for organizing seminars for the team’s players and spouses on issues related to their daily life management.

After graduating from Boston College and St. John’s University School of Law, Williams worked at the New York law firm of Martin, Clearwater & Bell, as a special agent with the FBI, and as an assistant U.S. attorney in Connecticut. Prior to joining the Jaguars, Williams got his first taste of a football career-landing a job in the NFL head office as a player liaison in the security department in 1996.

“I’ve always wanted to be involved in sports. I played football in high school and college and I wanted to continue being a part of the sport when I got into my legal career,” says the 32-year-old Williams. “Of all the jobs I’ve had, this is an opportunity to live out a childhood dream.”

IS IT A MAN’S WORLD?
The only thing rarer than being an African American male executive in the NFL is being a female trying to reach the executive ranks in the industry. Adrian Barr-Bracy, vice president of finance for

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