Study: Number of Black Head Coaches Declines in Last Six YearsLINCOLN, Neb.
The number of Black head coaches at major college football programs declined in the past six years, even though a majority of players are minorities, according to a new study released last month.
In 1995-1996, Black head coaches made up 5 percent of Division I-A college football programs. This year just 2 percent of coaches are Black, the study by the NCAA Minority Opportunities and Interest Committee found.
Those results were released at the conclusion of a daylong summit called by the Black Coaches Association to address the problem and look for solutions.
“We need to figure out how to create a sense of urgency in terms of changing the hiring practices,” says NCAA senior vice president and chief operating officer Dan Boggan. “It’s getting worse instead of getting better.”
Hiring goals for head coaches, and ways to achieve the benchmarks, were discussed at the meeting. A report was to be released in November.
While the number of Black head coaches has gone down, the new NCAA report finds that 51 percent of collegiate athletes are Black and 49 percent are White.
Racial diversity within the coaching ranks is a weakness in college football, said Eugene Marshall, chairman of the NCAA committee that prepared the report. Until the NCAA prioritizes diversifying football coaching staffs, the inequities will remain, Marshall said.
Who gets hired for a head coach is influenced by a variety of factors including politics and financial concerns, said Floyd Keith, director of the BCA. Those with control over hiring decisions also need to be educated about the problem and ways to address it, he said.
Pressure must be brought on them until change occurs, Keith said.
“That has to be more intensified and more unified,” he said.
In the NFL, just two of the 32 head coaches are minorities. They are Tony Dungy at Indianapolis and Herman Edwards with the New York Jets.
There are just four Black head coaches among major college’s 115 programs. They are Notre Dame’s Tyrone Willingham, Michigan State’s Bobby Williams, San Jose State’s Fitz Hill and New Mexico State’s Tony Samuel.
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