Hiring progress for diverse coaches in football

November 15, 2011 - 3:10 PM

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The Black Coaches and Administrators organization found encouraging progress in the coaching searches for Division I football in its annual Hiring Report Card released Tuesday

In the 2010-11 cycle, coaches of color were hired in 10 of 29 searches in FBS and FCS, bringing the total the total number of minority head coaches in Division I to a record 28 (not including historically black colleges and universities). FBS now has 19 minority coaches, compared with only five in 2007.

"It is refreshing to have an opportunity to acknowledge success," BCA executive director Floyd A. Keith said. "I believe it is one of the most shining examples of positive change on the landscape of intercollegiate sport in recent times as it pertains to diversity and inclusion efforts."

At the top Football Bowl Subdivision level, 14 of 21 schools earned an A grade for the inclusivity of their hiring process, including eight in the automatic BCS qualifier conferences: Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Miami, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Stanford and Vanderbilt. Only one, San Diego State, received an F.

San Diego State promoted defensive coordinator Rocky Long to head coach the day after Brady Hoke took the Michigan job.

Two years ago, there were no black coaches in four of the BCS conferences. Five of the six leagues now have at least one black coach, and three conferences — the ACC, Pac-12 and SEC — have two black coaches. The Big Ten is the only conference with none.

Keith said the BCA's report card coupled with the help of the NCAA to develop leadership programs has led to the improvement. He also credited the NFL's "Rooney Rule" with drawing attention to the issue and said having minority coaches win has helped, too.

Since the report card was first compiled eight years ago, Tony Dungy and Mike Tomlin have both won a Super Bowl title. In addition, Lovie Smith and Jim Caldwell took their teams to the NFL title game.

Success also is becoming more visible at the college level. In 2009, three minority coaches led teams to bowl games. Last year a record seven minority coaches took teams to bowl games, and three minority coaches made the FCS playoffs.

The report was done in conjunction with The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida. Schools are graded on four categories — communication, search committee, final candidates and time frame — based on information they provide.

The percentage of A grades in Division I for the 2010-11 cycle declined slightly from 59 percent in 2009-10 report to 55 percent.