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... and how about ... for University of Wisconsin–Whitewater women's volleyball (2002 Division III national champions)?

Many thoughts arise, including those discussed in my diary in November regarding Notre Dame's many coaches: the Fighting Irish, standard bearers for NCAA coaching positions, have only had one black coach in their storied history, and he was given the shortest tenure in ND coaching history, despite a winning record that matched the men before and after him.

Americans showed that we are ready to elect a black man for the position in the oval office.

Now, would we be comfortable enough for a person of color to lead the sidelines when Tennessee takes on Georgia?

For years, critics have correctly stated that the NCAA does not do a very good job of hiring African-American head coaches. Coach Terry Bowden, son of Florida State's legendary Bobby Bowden, has long cited the racism in college sports as the reason that black coaches rarely get opportunities to excel.

According to BlackVoices columnist Boyce Watkins:

In spite of the fact that African Americans dominate the sport on the field, they are rarely given opportunities to coach when their careers are over. This is the ultimate slap in the face, given that the universities are willing to use black labor to win games but are unwilling to hire black men as coaches, professors or athletic directors.

The hiring of black coaches by the NCAA has recently spiked, going from what Watkins called absolutely horrible to halfway decent.

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,'

said Floyd Keith, executive director of the association of Black Coaches & Administrators.

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.

According to Tony McClean at the Black Athlete Sports Network, here is the current distribution of African-American head coaches in college football:

Mike Locksley - University of New Mexico Lobos (Mountain West)
x-Turner Gill - University of Kansas Jayhawks (Big 12)
Kevin Sumlin - University of Houston Cougars (Conference USA)
x-Randy Shannon - University of Miami Hurricanes (ACC)
x-Mike London - University of Virginia Cavaliers (ACC)
x-Charlie Strong - University of Louisville Cardinals (Big East)
DeWayne Walker - University of New Mexico State Aggies (WAC)
Larry Porter - University of Memphis Tigers (Conference USA)
Mike Haywood - Miami University (Ohio) Redskins (MAC)
Ron English - University of Eastern Michigan Eagles (MAC)
Willie Taggart - University of Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (Sun Belt)

x-Conference champ gets automatic BCS berth

While professors and athletic directors are mentioned, we might note that the ray of hope that Watkins, Keith and others point out only focuses on big time NCAA football.

How is the hiring of ethnic minorities in Women's basketball, NCAA golf, fencing, wrestling, and the multitude of other college sports?

How are things going with hiring for the thousands of sports related positions outside of the NCAA, such as those for the NAIA?

And of course, there are still statistical disparities in the hiring of Black faculty members, as well as in graduation rates for black student athletes.

How do we vote for change in this arena?

Originally posted to The Book Bear on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 02:05 PM PST.

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