Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Black Head Coaches

I need to write about more than football, I will at some point, but…

Monday I wrote this in regards to UCLA, “Plus I also rooted for UCLA because their coach is a brother”. Currently there are three black head coaches in Division I football. Over half of the players are black. I could give you all the grisly details, but if you have the time read this: Black Coaches Association Hiring Report Card.

I’m fairly certain I’m not the first to say this, probably someone has written some fancy graduate thesis on it, but in my own words I’ll call it the “Jesse Jackson/Marion Berry Corollary”. I think to some degree black folks have the utmost respect for any black person who can succeed in any venue traditionally limited to white folks, especially when qualified blacks get passed over and over again for the same position (note: I would put OJ in there, I mean he did get away with killing white folks, but nah, most black folks think he is a quack). If you examine the numbers, or just look on the sidelines this Saturday, head football coach of a major D1 program or NFL head coach is basically limited to white folks. So according to the corollary, yes, I’m gonna cheer for any brother who is a head coach and is doing a good job with his team. Now I won’t go as far as to condone cheating, running a program with academic problems, or a lack of discipline, i.e. the 1980’s thug units of Oklahoma and Miami. Throwing in a LSU reference, the main thing I like about Saban was that his players stayed out of trouble and performed in the classroom. Winning helps, but off the field matters just as much in my opinion. (PS. If any of my tailgate buddies read that last sentence, no I haven’t lost my mind).

On the positive I guess progress is being made on some fronts, I remember back in the day when Randall Cunningham, Warren Moon, and Doug Williams were the only brothers throwing the rock. Just off the top of my head there have to be at least 10 starting black QB’s in the NFL. It used to be said that blacks didn’t have the mental aptitude or leadership abilities to manage the game from the QB position. Well obviously that has been proven wrong. Maybe I’m just impatient but I’m getting a little tired of waiting to see some more Black head coaches on the sideline.


The Underdog said...

I think the NFL has done a pretty good job of getting black head coaches. Now don't get me wrong, I think their minority interview policy is pretty lame, but it has good intentions. Now you see black head coaches shining on the an extent. Romeo Crenell picked up his first win. Marvin Lewis is 2-0 and improving. Dennis Green has turned around the Arizona franchise, even though they are 0-2 they at least expected to be better. Herm Edwards, my favorite, has been a playoff contender (he better watch out because this year may be his last). And Tont Dungy, whose team won the Super Bowl with an overrated coach that wasn't him, should at least make the AFC Championship. Black coaches in the NFL are proving to be as good as white coaches.

You don't see that in college because it takes awhile to build a program. Longer than 3 years, or 2.5 in Ty Willingham's case. You get an initial pop from a new coach and then it takes time to build a competetive squad. Most college AD's don't allow their coaches the time necessary to build a team when it's going in the right direction. Black coaches are caught under the microscope because there are so few out there and they have to be better than all the white coaches to truly get a fair shake. Unlike the NFL, the NCAA is a very regional based organization. You still have to work and play in the Mississippi's, Bama's and South Carolina's of the world. Black folks have generally never gotten a fair shake in these communiities so why would we think the coaches would get one. The NCAA is a different beast my friend. It is time for it to come out of the 60's into the modern era.

headliner said...

Good stuff underdog, good stuff. One thing, you wrote "Black coaches in the NFL are proving to be as good as white coaches. "

Definitely true, but that's not a surprise. It's hard to prove it without the opportunity. Btw, I think Croom at Mississippi St. will do ok. They will never dominate the SEC, but I think they will do well in another year or so.

The Underdog said...

Unfortunately I think Croom gets fired before he can make any waves at Miss St. He's gonna need about 4-5 years to rebuild that mess Jackie Sherrell (sp?) left. They are a total shell of what they were. I don't think he'll get as long as he should.

You're right about not having the opportunity previously. I just wish another Black QB could win the Super Bowl. Until a few of them win, there will always be a cloud over the Black QB.

Bring back Wayne Fontz. We need some Hispanic influence.