The Plight Of Black Football Coaches (Part Two)

By Gary Norris Gray
Updated: December 2, 2007

Turner Gill

Turner Gill

CALIFORNIA – Well, it’s that time of the year when colleges and universities hand out pink slips and walking papers to their football staff if they have not produced a winning team. As of Friday, there are 12 new head coaching positions open.

The good news is not a single African American Head Coach was fired or handed walking papers in 2007. The bad news is that three African American coaches will be watched very closely during next football season because of their team’s meager performance.

The list of walking papers is lengthy and came very early this season. Could it be these universities and colleges want to keep the recruitment stream flowing without interruption? The fired, released, or retired coaches are as follows:

//<![CDATA[ u003c/font> u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt;text-align:justify”>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman”>Gaily at Georgia Tech. Universityu003cspan>  u003c/span>u003c/font>u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt;text-align:justify”>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman”>Callahan at the University of Nebraska u003c/font>u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt;text-align:justify”>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman”>Carr at the University of Michigan u003c/font>u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt;text-align:justify”>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman”>Nutt at the University of Arkansas u003c/font>u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt;text-align:justify”>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman”>Doba at Washington State University u003c/font>u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt;text-align:justify”>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman”>Bower at Southern Miss u003c/font>u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt;text-align:justify”>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman”>Roof at Duke University u003c/font>u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt;text-align:justify”>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman”>Orgeron at the University of Mississippi u003c/font>u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt;text-align:justify”>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman”>Morriss at Baylor University u003c/font>u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt;text-align:justify”>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman”>Lubich at Colorado State Universityu003c/font>u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt;text-align:justify”>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman”>Widerlofe at New Mexico State Universityu003c/font>u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt;text-align:justify”>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman”>Franchione at Texas A & M u003cspan> u003c/span>University u003cspan>                 nu003c/span>u003c/font>u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt;text-align:justify”>u003cspan>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman”>                nu003c/font>u003c/span>u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt;text-align:justify”>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman”>u003cspan>              nu003c/span>u003cspan> u003c/span>The Merry Go Round has nalready started. The head coach of Arkansas (Houston Nutt) who stepped downed nthe morning of Monday, Nov. 26 and had a job that afternoon at the University of nMississippi. Art Briles now has the head coaching position at Baylor replacing nMorriss. Mike Shermann replaced Franchione at Texas A & M. these three men nwhere hired apparently without any interviews. The (NCAA) National Collegiate nAssociation and it's hiring practices it make it very difficult for young, nbright, intelligent, African Americans to acquire head coaching positions. If nthe universities or college administrations and presidents do not interview nminority canadates, how can they become head coaches? The National Football nLeague addressed this issue ten years ago with resounding results two African nAmerican Coaches went to the Super Bowl last year. The (BCA) Black Coaches nAssociation should investigate each and every hire until the NCAA sets a nstandard for interviews. Then maybe the universities and colleges will get the nmessage. This is a blatant civil rights violation and should be addressed. n”,1] ); //–> //]]> Chan Gailey, Georgia Tech; Bill Callahan, Nebraska; Lloyd Carr, Michigan; Houston Nutt, Arkansas; Bill Doba, Washington State; Jeff Bower, Southern Mississippi; Ted Roof, Duke; Ed Orgeron, Ole Miss; Guy Morriss, Baylor; Sonny Lubich, Colorado State; and Dennis Franchione, Texas A&M.

The Merry Go Round has already started. The head coach of Arkansas (Houston Nutt) who stepped down last Monday and had a job that afternoon at Ole Miss. Art Briles now has the head coaching position at Baylor replacing Morriss. Mike Shermann replaced Franchione at Texas A&M. these three men where hired apparently without any interviews.

The NCAA and it’s hiring practices it make it very difficult for young, bright, intelligent, African Americans to acquire head coaching positions. If the universities or college administrations and presidents do not interview minority candidates, how can they become head coaches?

The National Football League addressed this issue ten years ago with resounding results two African American Coaches went to the Super Bowl last year. The Black Coaches Association should investigate each and every hire until the NCAA sets a standard for interviews. Then maybe the universities and colleges will get the message.

This is a blatant civil rights violation and should be addressed.

//<![CDATA[ u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt;text-align:justify”>u003cspan>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman”>u003c/font>u003c/span> u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt;text-align:justify”>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman”>u003cspan>              nu003c/span>One more coach should be added to the long list of fired football nmentors. There is a team in the mid-west that plays under the Golden Dome. There nis an image of Touchdown Jesus at one end-zone. This team plays for NBC-TV nSports on Saturdays. This offensive coaching genius will not be fired this year nbecause of the lengthy extension this university gave him mid season. u003cspan>  u003c/span>They will not fire him because he is one nof their own. This university will not fire him because he is an alumni member. nThis coach has made some questionable calls at the end of three games and lost nto Navy and Air Force in the same year. The football team mid season went into nthe tank and lost seven games in a row. Yet he will remain at this proud and nprestigious college for another year. The invisible old boy networking system nwould curtail or even stop with the NFL Rooney Rule. u003c/font>u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt;text-align:justify”>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman”>u003c/font> u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt;text-align:justify”>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman”>u003cspan>           nu003c/span>In the meantime, there are three African American Coaches that will be on nthe hot seat next year and might be looking for a new job in the 2009 football nseasons. Coach u003cb>Randy Shannonu003c/b> (2-6) nat the University of Miami, u003cb>Karl nDorrellu003c/b> (5-3) University of California at Los Ang., (UCLA) and u003cb>Tyrone Whittinghamu003c/b> (2-7) at the nUniversity of Washington. All three coaches struggled this year and are at the nbottom half of their conferences. All three have been given chances to improve nand failed. u003c/font>u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt;text-align:justify”>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman”>u003c/font> u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt;text-align:justify”>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman”>u003cspan>            nu003c/span>However there is a very bright side to this predicament Head Coach “,1] ); //–> //]]>

One more coach should be added to the long list of fired football mentors. There is a team in the midwest that plays under the Golden Dome. There is an image of Touchdown Jesus at one endzone. This team plays on NBC Sports on Saturdays. This offensive coaching genius will not be fired this year because of the lengthy extension this university gave him mid season.

They will not fire him because he is one of their own. This university will not fire him because he is an alumni member. This coach has made some questionable calls at the end of three games and lost to Navy and Air Force in the same year.

The football team mid season went into the tank and lost seven games in a row. Yet he will remain at this proud and prestigious college for another year. The invisible old boy networking system would curtail or even stop with the NFL’s Rooney Rule.

In the meantime, there are three African American Coaches that will be on the hot seat next year and might be looking for a new job in the 2009 football seasons. Coach Randy Shannon (5-7) at Miami (Fla.), Karl Dorrell (6-6) at UCLA., (UCLA) and Tyrone Willingham (4-9) at Washington.

All three coaches struggled this year and are at the bottom half of their conferences. All three have been given chances to improve and failed. However there is a very bright side to this predicament.

//<![CDATA[ Sylvester Croomsu003c/b> at Mississippi State nUniversity (4-4) made the biggest surprise of this year. The MSU Bulldogs became ncompetitive in the tough Southeast Conference. MSU historically had bad record. nOther teams loved to play them because it fattens their winning percentage. Well nCoach Crooms changed all of that this year making when the Bull Dogs bite a few nopponents in the rear-end. MSU will no-longer be a walk over (win) u003c/font>u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt”>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman”>u003c/font> u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt”>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman”>u003cspan>              nu003c/span>Also u003cb>Ron Priceu003c/b> at Kansas nState University, u003cb>Norris Wilsonu003c/b> at nColumbia University, and u003cb>Turner Gillu003c/b> nat the University of Buffalo are holding their own.u003cbr>u003cbr>u003c/font>u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt”>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman”>u003cspan>              nu003c/span>The NCAA seems to be dragging its proverbial feet on minority head ncoaching hiring. And it is still dragging its collective feet on a division one nfootball playoff. Maybe things will change next year. u003cspan>  u003c/span>u003c/font>u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt”>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman”>u003c/font> u003c/p>nu003cdiv styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt”>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman”>THAT IS THE GRAYLINE ! u003c/font>u003c/div>nu003cdiv styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt”>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman”>Gary Norris Gray u003c/font>u003c/div>u003c/div>n”,0] ); //–> //]]> Mississippi State’s Sylvester Croom (4-4) has been one of the biggest surprises of this year. The Bulldogs became competitive in the tough SEC. Historically, MSU has struggled and other teams loved to play them because it fattens their winning percentage.

Well, Coach Crooms changed all of that this year making when the Bulldogs bit a few opponents in the rearend. MSU will no-longer be a walkover. Also Ron Prince (5-7) at Kansas State, Norries Wilson (2-9) at Columbia University, and Turner Gill (5-7) at Buffalo are holding their own.

Gill, who was a finalist for the head coaching job at Nebraska, was named the Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year after leading the Bulls to the most in its Division I-A history. The program had won 10 games in its first seven years in I-A, they won half of that total this season.

UB finished with a 5-3 conference record, including a 4-2 mark in the MAC East Division to claim a share of the regular season title. Prior to the 2007 campaign, UB had won eight MAC games total in the previous eight years.

The NCAA seems to be dragging its proverbial feet on minority head coaching hiring. And it is still dragging its collective feet on a division one football playoff. Maybe things will change next year.