Black coaches group: 'It's a positive'

Updated: December 7, 2009, 4:17 PM ET
By Joe Schad | ESPN

The executive director of the Black Coaches and Administrators, Floyd Keith, said Monday that he is encouraged by the quick hirings of three black head coaches in the Football Bowl Subdivision, increasing the number from seven to 10.

"Let's keep it in perspective," Keith said. "But it's a positive. Finally -- as long as we've been involved -- I don't ever recall this early there being such a positive response. And I think that number may even increase in the next few days."

On Monday, Virginia hired Richmond's Mike London. Recently, Western Kentucky hired Stanford running backs coach Willie Taggart and Memphis hired LSU running backs backs coach Larry Porter.

When coaches have had the opportunity, they've had success. In recent Super Bowls, there have been black head coaches and they have been winners.

-- Floyd Keith, executive director
of the Black Coaches & Administrators

Buffalo coach Turner Gill is interviewing with Kansas, a source close to the situation said Monday. And Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong has interviewed with Louisville.

"Maybe after years of there being talented individuals out there, there are some open-minded presidents and athletic directors who are saying, 'Hey, I'm familiar with this guy. Maybe he'd be a good fit here,'" Keith said. "When coaches have had the opportunity, they've had success. In recent Super Bowls, there have been black head coaches and they have been winners."

Keith said a big reason why more minority candidates are being considered is that presidents and chancellors are getting more involved in the process.

"They need to be involved," Keith said. "And they have been contacting me directly more than ever before. Any time there has been successful reform, it has involved the presidents and chancellors. We still have a long way to go. But I think it's getting better."

Keith said it is important that some of these coaches land at places where there is the support system and infrastructure to have a good chance to succeed.

"It's nice to ride Secretariat," Keith said. "Because you can be a good jockey. But you're going to get beat if you're on the plow horse."

There are currently 10 of 120 FBS head coaches that are African American and two more considered minorities.

Joe Schad covers college football for ESPN.

Joe Schad

College Football

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