Five New Minority FBS Head Coaches Bring Total To Highest Ever

The 2011 college football season is packed plenty with exciting matchups, classic rivalries and all the traditions that make college football a favorite American pastime. The 2011 season also will see the most ever minorities leading Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) teams as head coaches when game action gets underway Sept. 1. Five schools in the 120-team FBS, college football’s elite level, hired African-Americans as head coaches, bringing the total to 16 for Blacks and 18 minorities overall, which is the most to start any season.

Among the new minority head coaches, David Shaw at Stanford University is noteworthy because the team is ranked sixth in the USA Today pre-season poll with Heisman candidate quarterback Andrew Luck returning as a senior. The University of Colorado, another PAC-12 school, chose Jon Embree to lead the Buffaloes. Embree, a former Colorado player and assistant coach, will be looking to improve on the team’s 5 – 7 record from last year.

The Southeastern Conference (SEC), which has six teams ranked in the top 20 going into this season, now has two Black head coaches with the addition of James Franklin at Vanderbilt. Second-year Kentucky head coach Joker Phillips is the other minority head coach in the SEC. This is the first time in the SEC’s 76-year history that it has two African-American head football coaches.

The University of North Carolina Tarheels will be led by Everett Withers. Withers replaced Butch Davis, who was fired July 27 after the NCAA cited violations in the football program. Withers was the defensive coordinator at North Carolina the past three seasons. The ACC will have two Black head coaches with second-year head coach Mike London at Virginia leading the Cavaliers.

Darrell Hazell was promoted to head coach at Kent State after five seasons as an assistant coach at Ohio State. Kent State plays in the Mid-American Conference whose only other Black head coach is Ron English at Eastern Michigan.

Head Coach

University

Conference

Year

Mike London

University of Virginia

ACC

2

Everett Withers

Universiy of North Carolina

ACC

1

Turner Gill

University of Kansas

Big 12

2

Charlie Strong

University of Louisville

Big East

2

Ruffin McNeil

East Carolina University

C-USA

2

Kevin Sumlin

University of Houston

C-USA

4

Larry Porter

University of Memphis

C-USA

2

Ken Niumatalolo

U.S. Naval Academy

Independent

5

Ron English

Eastern Michigan University

MAC

3

Darrell Hazell

Kent State University

MAC

1

Mike Locksley

University of New Mexico

MWC

3

Jon Embree

University of Colorado

PAC 12

1

David Shaw

Stanford University

PAC 12

1

Joker Phillips

University of Kentucky

SEC

2

James Franklin

Vanderbilt University

SEC

1

Mario Cristobal

Florida International University

Sun Belt

5

Willie Taggart

Western Kentucky University

Sun Belt

2

DeWayne Walker

New Mexico State University

WAC

3