The Plight Of Black Football Coaches (Part 3)

By Gary Norris Gray
Updated: January 4, 2008

Sylvester Croom

Sylvester Croom

CALIFORNIA — There have been some very interesting developments since this article was written three weeks ago about African American Coaches in the NCAA. The number of dismissed coaches in the division one college ranks has increased from 12 to 16.

The bad news is that one African American coach received his walking papers this year, Karl Dorrell from UCLA. The list of dismissed coaches has become lengthy. This was an opportunity for the NCAA to show that it could improve on its minority hiring status.

As of early 2008, they receive an F for failing to do little or nothing. The fired, released, or retired coaches are as follows: //<![CDATA[ u003c/p>nu003cp>u003ci>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>Chan nGailey, Georgia Tech; Bill Callahan, Nebraska; Lloyd nCarr, Michigan; Houston Nutt, Arkansas; Bill Doba, Washington nState; Jeff Bower, Southern Mississippi; Ted Roof, Duke; Ed nOrgeron, Ole Miss; Guy Morriss, Baylor; Sonny nLubich, Colorado State, Dennis Franchione, Texas A&M, and Karl nDorrell, UCLA . u003c/span>u003c/i>u003c/p>nu003cp>u003cb>u003ci>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>The list swelled nwith these coaches after the first article are, SMU-Phil Bennett, Northern nIll.-Joe Novak, and Navy-Paul Johnson, West Virginia-Rich Rodriguz nu003c/span>u003c/i>u003c/b>u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”text-align:justify”>u003cb>u003ci>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>Only one African nAmerican coach has been hired at the University of Houston, Kevin Sumlin. nu003c/span>u003c/i>u003c/b>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>Coach nSumlin had been working as the offensive coordinator at the University of nOklahoma Sooners since 2003, making the Sooner Boomer a scoring machine. nu003c/span>u003c/p>nu003cp>u003cb>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>So nit remains status quo with the number of African American Coaches at six out of n219 schools u003c/span>u003c/b>u003c/p>nu003cp>u003cb>u003ci>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>As of Jan. 1, 2008 nWest Virginia and Southern Methodist University are continuing the search for a nhead football coach u003c/span>u003c/i>u003c/b>u003cb>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:9pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>u003c/span>u003c/b>u003c/p>nu003cp>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>The head ncoach of Arkansas (Houston Nutt) stepped down and had another job that afternoon nat Ole Miss. Art Briles has the head coaching position at Baylor replacing nMorriss. Mike Shermann replaced Franchione at Texas A&M. apparently these nthree men were hired without any interviews. This week three other schools nfollowed suit, Southern Miss., Arkansas, and Texas A & M did not interview a nsingle African American candidate. This has become too common and needs to be naddressed. “,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, Dennis Franchione, Texas A&M, and Karl Dorrell, UCLA .

The list swelled with these coaches after the first article are, SMU-Phil Bennett, Northern Ill.-Joe Novak, and Navy-Paul Johnson, West Virginia-Rich Rodriguz

Only one African American coach has been hired at the University of Houston, Kevin Sumlin. Coach Sumlin had been working as the offensive coordinator at the University of Oklahoma Sooners since 2003, making the Sooner Boomer a scoring machine.

Ironically after the Sooners were thrashed 48-28 by West Virginia in the Fiesta Bowl, the Mountaineers hired Bill Stewart as their full-time head coach. Stewart served as interim head coach when Rich Rodriguez left WVU for Michigan.

So it remains status quo with the number of African American Coaches at six out of 219 schools. As of Jan. 5, 2008, only Southern Methodist University is continuing the search for a head football coach.

The head coach of Arkansas (Houston Nutt) stepped down and had another job that afternoon at Ole Miss. Art Briles has the head coaching position at Baylor replacing Morriss.

Mike Sherman replaced Franchione at Texas A&M. apparently these three men were hired without any interviews. This week, three other schools followed suit, Southern Miss., Arkansas, and Texas A&M did not interview a single African American candidate.

This has become too common and needs to be addressed.

//<![CDATA[ u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:9pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>u003c/span>u003c/p>nu003cp>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>The NCAA nand its hiring practices make it very difficult for young, bright, talented, nintelligent, African Americans to acquire head coaching positions. If the nuniversities or college administrations and presidents do not interview minority ncandidates, how can they become head coaches? There are over 300 African nAmerican Assistant coaches in Division one and college sub division (formerly nknown as Division 1-AA). u003c/span>u003c/p>nu003cp>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>Mike nSingletary (Chicago Bears), Doug Williams (Grambling Tigers), Dennis Green n(Minn. Vikings and Ariz. Cardinals), Ron Rivera (Univ. of Cal-Berkeley and nChicago Bears), Norm Chow (USC Trojans), Ron English (Univ. of Mich.) and Dwayne nWalker (UCLA Bruins) comes to mind. Even Karl Dorrell (UCLA) deserves a second nchance. All of these men are well qualified football coaches yet they have been npassed over in this recent years coaching dearth. u003c/span>u003c/p>nu003cp>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>The (NFL) nNational Football League addressed this issue ten years ago. What resounding nresults when two African American Coaches went to the Super Bowl last year. The n(BCA) Black Coaches Association should investigate each and every hire until the nNCAA sets a standard for interviews. Then maybe the universities and colleges nwill get the message. The past few weeks proves that these prestigious nuniversities are simply ignoring qualified African American Assistant Coaches. nu003c/span>u003c/p>nu003cp>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>This is a nblatant civil rights violation and should be addressed immediately. If these nschools are receiving federal funds they might have to put affirmative action in nplace to secure a certain number of head coaching jobs u003c/span>u003c/p>nu003cp>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>Maybe a nnational boycott of NCAA products and Saturday afternoon games by African nAmerican sport fans would produce positive action by university executives and nadministrators. “,1] ); //–> //]]>

The NCAA and its hiring practices make it very difficult for young, bright, talented, 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?

There are over 300 African American Assistant coaches in Division I-A and college sub division (formerly known as Division 1-AA).

Mike Singletary (Chicago Bears), Doug Williams (Grambling Tigers), Dennis Green (Minn. Vikings and Ariz. Cardinals), Ron Rivera (Univ. of Cal-Berkeley and Chicago Bears), Norm Chow (USC Trojans), Ron English (Univ. of Mich.) and Dwayne Walker (UCLA Bruins) comes to mind.

Even Karl Dorrell (UCLA) deserves a second chance. All of these men are well qualified football coaches yet they have been passed over in this recent years coaching dearth.

The NFL addressed this issue ten years ago. What resounding results when two African American Coaches went to the Super Bowl last year. The Black Coaches Association (BCA) should investigate each and every hire until the NCAA sets a standard for interviews.

Then maybe the universities and colleges will get the message. The past few weeks proves that these prestigious universities are simply ignoring qualified African American Assistant Coaches.

This is a blatant civil rights violation and should be addressed immediately. If these schools are receiving federal funds they might have to put affirmative action in place to secure a certain number of head coaching jobs

Maybe a national boycott of NCAA products and Saturday afternoon games by African American sport fans would produce positive action by university executives and administrators.

//<![CDATA[ u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:9pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>u003c/span>u003c/p>nu003cp>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>Maybe nAfrican Americans should ask the Congress of the United States to investigate nthe NCAA hiring practices? Just this year, Congress made Major League Baseball ntake action on the steroid scandal issue. u003c/span>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:9pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>u003c/span>u003c/p>nu003cp>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>Two more ncoaches should be added to the long list of fired college football mentors. nThere is a team in the Midwest that plays under the Golden Dome. There is an nimage of Touchdown Jesus at one end zone. This team plays on NBC Sports on nSaturdays. This offensive coaching genius will not be fired this year because of nthe lengthy contract extension this university gave him at mid nseason.   u003c/span>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:9pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>u003c/span>u003c/p>nu003cp>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>They will nnot fire him because he is one of their own. This university will not fire him nbecause he is an alumni member. This coach made some questionable calls at the nend of three games including a lost to Navy and the Air Force Academy. nu003c/span>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:9pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>u003c/span>u003c/p>nu003cp>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>At mid nseason this football team went into the tank and lost seven games in a row. Yet nthe coach remained at this proud and prestigious college for another year. nu003c/span>u003c/p>nu003cp>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>There is nanother disaster brewing at Tallahassee, Fla. The Seminoles traveled to the nMusic City Bowl during the holiday season while half of their team remained on ncampus, due to student violations. ( F.S.U.) Fla. State University players have nbeen in bar fights and other legal altercations with the local police in the npast three years. Team discipline on this football powerhouse does not exist. nPlayers were excused from this year's bowl game due to a cheating scandal in an ninternet music exam. It is obvious the coach has lost control of this Northern nFlorida team. Again he will not be fired, because he is one of their own, he nwill not be fired because he has been there for over 35 years. “,1] ); //–> //]]>

Maybe African Americans should ask the Congress of the United States to investigate the NCAA hiring practices? Just this year, Congress made Major League Baseball take action on the steroid scandal issue.

Two more coaches should be added to the long list of fired college football mentors. There is a team in the Midwest that plays under the Golden Dome. There is an image of Touchdown Jesus at one end zone.

This team plays on NBC Sports on Saturdays. This offensive coaching genius will not be fired this year because of the lengthy contract extension this university gave him at 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 made some questionable calls at the end of three games including a lost to Navy and the Air Force Academy.

At mid season this football team went into the tank and lost seven games in a row. Yet the coach remained at this proud and prestigious college for another year.

There is another disaster brewing at Tallahassee, Fla. The Seminoles traveled to the Music City Bowl during the holiday season while half of their team remained on campus, due to student violations.

Florida State players have been in bar fights and other legal altercations with the local police in the past three years. Team discipline on this football powerhouse does not exist.

Players were excused from this year’s bowl game due to a cheating scandal in an internet music exam. It is obvious the coach has lost control of this Northern Florida team. Again he will not be fired, because he is one of their own, he will not be fired because he has been there for over 35 years.

//<![CDATA[  u003c/span>u003c/span>u003c/p>nu003cp>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>In the nmeantime, there are two African American Coaches that will be on the hot seat nnext year if their teams don't improve their performance on the field. nCoach Randy Shannon (5-7) at Miami (Fla.), and Tyrone nWillingham (4-9) at Washington. Might be looking for a new job in the 2009 nfootball seasons. u003c/span>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:9pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>u003c/span>u003c/p>nu003cp>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>These ncoaches have struggled this year and are at the bottom half of their nconferences. They have been given opportunities to improve and nfailed. However there is a very bright side to this predicament. nu003c/span>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:9pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>u003c/span>u003c/p>nu003cp>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>Mississippiu003c/span>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”> Stateu003c/span>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”> 's Sylvester Croom n(4-4) has been one of the biggest surprises of this year. The Bulldogs nbecame competitive in the tough SEC. Historically, MSU has struggled and nteams loved to play them because it fatten their winning percentage. The nBulldogs will play in the Liberty Bowl game this year something that has been nforeign in Starkville, Mississippi. u003c/span>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:9pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>u003c/span>u003c/p>nu003cp>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>Coach nCrooms changed the losing attitude this year when the Bulldogs bit a few nopponents in the rear-end. MSU will no-longer be a walkover. Also Ron nPrince (5-7) at Kansas State, and Turner Gill (5-7) at Buffalo are nholding their own. u003c/span>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:9pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>u003c/span>u003c/p>nu003cp>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>Gill, who nwas a finalist for the head coaching job at Nebraska, was named the Mid-American nConference Coach of the Year after leading the Bulls to the most nvictories in its Division I-A history. The program had won 10 games in its first nseven years in I-A. They won half of that total this season. “,1] ); //–> //]]>

In the meantime, there are two African American Coaches that will be on the hot seat next year if their teams don’t improve their performance on the field. Coach Randy Shannon (5-7) at Miami (Fla.), and Tyrone Willingham (4-9) at Washington might be looking for a new job in the 2009 football seasons.

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

Mississippi State ‘s Sylvester Croom (8-5) has been one of the biggest surprises of this year. The Bulldogs became competitive in the tough SEC. Historically, MSU has struggled and teams loved to play them because it fatten their winning percentage.

The Bulldogs defeated Central Florida 10-3 in the Liberty Bowl. All season, Crooms changed the losing attitude this year when the Bulldogs bit a few opponents in the rear-end. MSU will no-longer be a walkover. Also Ron Prince (5-7) at Kansas State, 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 victories 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.

//<![CDATA[ u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:9pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>u003c/span>u003c/p>nu003cp>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>The nUniversity of Buffalo finished with a 5-3 conference record, including a 4-2 nmark in the MAC East Division to claim a share of the regular season title. nPrior to the 2007 campaign, the University of Buffalo won eight MAC games in the nprevious eight years. u003c/span>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:9pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>u003c/span>u003c/p>nu003cp>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>The NCAA nand its university members seemed to be dragging their proverbial feet on the nissue of hiring minority head coaches. u003c/span>u003c/p>nu003cp>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:black;font-family:Verdana”>Maybe it is ntime for the (BCA) Black Coaches Association, the (NAACP)u003c/span>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman”>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:black”> u003c/span>u003cspan styleu003d”color:black”>National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, nand the average African American college football fan to start using its GREEN nPOWER against the NCAA. That seems to be the only message America understands nand responds to. u003c/span>u003cspan styleu003d”color:black;font-family:Verdana”>u003c/span>u003c/font>u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt”>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman”>u003c/font> u003c/p>nu003cdiv>Gary Norris Gray u003c/div>nu003cdiv>El Cerrito, California u003c/div>nu003cdiv>510234-5278u003cbr>– u003cbr>WRITING THROUGH THE EYES OF  THE BLACK nATHLETE u003c/div>u003c/div>n”,0] ); //–> //]]>

The University of Buffalo 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, the University of Buffalo won eight MAC games in the previous eight years.

The NCAA and its university members seemed to be dragging their proverbial feet on the issue of hiring minority head coaches. Maybe it is time for the Black Coaches Association, the NAACP, and the average African American college football fan to start using its GREEN POWER against the NCAA.

That seems to be the only message America understands and responds to.