Last month, the Black Coaches and Administrators (BCA) released the results of the Head Football Coaches 2009-2010 “Hiring Report Card” (HRC), which analyzed the hiring process of the FBS and FCS schools that hired a head football coach in the last hiring cycle. The study, for the most part, shows that colleges and universities are steadily coming around into the realm of inclusion when it comes to hiring African Americans and other minority candidates.
There are a total of 34 schools in the study. Among the more notable schools surveyed were Notre Dame, Princeton, UNLV and the University of Southern California (USC). The overall grades for FBS are as follows: 13 “A’s,” five “B’s,” one “C” and one “F” grades.
The overall FCS final grades are as follows: seven “A’s,” four “B’s,” no “C’s” and three “F” grades. Florida State and Kentucky were not graded because they had “coaches in waiting.”
“While we have made progress, is the task finished? No, but we are headed in the right direction to eventually realize an acceptable ratio in the number of head coaches to the number of participants on the playing field, “ said Floyd Keith, executive director of the BCA. “Today, 46 percent of the players in Division I football are ethnic minorities, while only 10 percent are head coaches.”
The ratio of head coaches to players is 21 percent. In comparison, Division I basketball has a 60 percent to 23 percent ratio, which equals 38 percent. One should understand a person of color is still more likely to be a general in the United States Army than a collegiate head football coach when you realize that 20 percent of the U.S. Army is black and compare that with 9 percent of black generals resulting in a 45 percent ratio. Our job is not finished. There is still work to do.”
Between 1982 and 2009, there were 499 head football coach openings at FBS schools. In those 27 years, a total of just 38 positions were filled by an African-American (7.6 percent). Last season alone, six African-Americans were hired at the end of the year. Joining a Latino and a Polynesian coach, that made 15 coaches of color, six more than ever before. As recently as 2007, there were only five.
While some of the 2009-10 hires were at non-BCS schools, there were jobs added in the SEC at Kentucky, in the Big 12 at Kansas (This coach was Turner Gill, who was at the University of Buffalo, before going to Kansas) and in the Big East at Louisville. That was critical since, as the 2009 season ended, there was not an African-American head football coach in the SEC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-10 or Big East. Now, there are African-Americans coaching again in the SEC, the Big 12 and Big East.
Schools in the FCS, Division II and Division III levels have been even less diverse in their hiring practices. This year, while there are approximately 117 predominately white FCS schools that compete in football, only seven have head coaches of color and only two coaches of color were hired this past year at the FCS level.
The 2009-10 HRC is the seventh annual report. This year, the overall grades continue to improve at some institutions as well as the individual letter grades in certain categories. However, there is still room for improvement as some schools continue to fall below par when each of the four categories of the HRC is examined.
Richard Lapchick, the primary author of the new report, said, “There have been 33 full-time African-American head coaches in the history of the FBS schools. Willie Jeffries was the first hired in 1979 at Wichita State. There have been two Latino coaches in the history of the FBS schools. Between 1979 and 2002, a total of 19 full-time African-American head coaches were hired.
“Since the initial BCA Football Hiring Report Card, 14 full-time African-American head coaches have been hired. In other words, 42.4 percent of all the African-American coaches ever hired have been hired in the seven years since the publication of the first BCA Football Hiring Report Card. Furthermore, 12 of the 14 have been hired in the past four years; 10 of the 14 have been hired in the last two years. The BCA Hiring Report Card is clearly an effective tool to help bring about positive change,” continued Dr. Lapchick.
Visit www.bcasports.org to view the complete 2010 Head Football Coaches 2009-2010 Hiring Report Card.
Dennis is the editor and publisher of News4usonline. He covers sports, social and racial justice, politics, equal rights, and entertainment. Dennis has over two decades of journalism experience. He earned a degree in journalism from Howard University. “I write what I’m passionate about.”