NFL Has Record Number Of Assistant Minority Coaches

By BASN Wire Services
Updated: October 6, 2007

Mike Tomlin

Mike Tomlin

NEW YORK — The NFL made history last season with two black head coaches in the Super Bowl. A new university report on diversity in sports says that the league also had a record number of minority assistant coaches.

NFL teams had 165 minority assistants in 2006 — a 200 percent increase from 1991, the oldest data researcher Richard Lapchick had. Lapchick, head of the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, said there was a 4 percent increase in minority assistants from 2005 to 2006.

“I think that is really an actual pipeline now, and I think it’s where the head coaches are being developed,” said Lapchick, who issues similar reports every year on other major sports and the NCAA.

The NFL had a record seven black head coaches last year — credited in part to the 2002 “Rooney Rule” that mandated teams interview at least one minority candidate for each head coach vacancy. The total dropped to six for the 2007 season after Art Shell and Dennis Green were fired and the Pittsburgh Steelers hired Mike Tomlin.

The number of black general managers increased by one to five when the New York Giants hired Jerry Reese as the season started, the study said.

Lapchick used data from 2006, but updated in late August the coaches, general managers, presidents and owners.

For the third straight year, the NFL declined to provide Central Florida researchers details on the race and gender makeup of the league office. Lapchick noted in the report pro football was the only sports league to decline.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league had no comment on the report.

The NFL’s last grade on gender in Lapchick’s report card was a D-plus in 2004. It earned a B-plus on racial diversity in this report, same as the previous year.

The Oakland Raiders’ Amy Trask remained the NFL’s only female president/CEO, but there was a four-point increase in female vice presidents, the study said.

The number of black vice presidents dipped slightly, from 16 in the last report to 13, the study said.