All right, somebody gotta say something. I did the obligatory search to see if there was a diary and all the majick box was able to produce was two hits and one of them was the Overnight Newsdesk Science edition. Right. Never saw a single mention of this hiring, which in my mind is at least marginally historic in terms of race relations. More beyond the squiggle.
It is not easy for somebody with my skin tone to talk about race relations in this country.
There are a lot of things I get wrong. I have been guilty of soft racism. I feel like I am stepping out on thin ice on this issue, but it is important enough to me to say something and take my lumps when I am criticized.
Charlie Strong is the first black head coach at the University of Texas. The University with the last national championship team that was all white. The university with statues of Jefferson Davis and Confederate generals. I'd like to think that we could say, as a nation, that we are past looking at the color of a man's skin and are only looking at his credentials and record of accomplishments. But, that ain't the way it is. Some folks are just gonna see his color first and whatever else is on his bio later. And there's another added feature to the man. He married a white woman. Has two beautiful girls from this marriage. There is reason to believe that why he did not go from Louisville to a school in the SEC is that fact of his marriage.
Report: Charlie Strong acknowledged rumors he faced discrimination because of interracial marriage
A portion of Bianchi's report'
(Strong) was interviewed by the athletic director at a downtrodden program in a big-time southern BCS conference. He didn't get the job, he was told later, because he was a black man married to a white woman. Sadly and senselessly, an interracial marriage cost Strong a chance to become a head coach and cost that school and its fans a chance to hire a man who could have transformed their woebegone program.
When asked that day if his race had become a detriment in his quest to become a head coach, Strong — true to his roots as a defensive coordinator — blitzed and blindsided a group of writers by turning the question on them.
So, there's that. Dallas Morning News running out an Orlando Sentinel story from 09. Charlie didn't want to talk about it and I don't blame him. Jurich supported him and from all the indications I have so did Louisville in the larger sense. That the Big Southern Dummies of the SEC might have a problem with him and his marriage is their loss as far as I am concerned. I didn't know what color he was until late this season. All I knew was that Louisville was getting better and beating people and I kept hearing about this Bridgewater kid. I was too occupied bitching about Mack Brown and bemoaning another season shot to hell. Of course the intertubz were aflame with rumors of this coach and that coach from the Ghost of Tom Landry to the coaches playing in the game tonight! Charlie was barely in the conversation. I still didn't know much more than he was doing well at Louisville and he was rumored to be black. Being the slacker that I am I didn't bother to do things like y'know research. Amid all the other rumors flying around he seemed awfully far away on the radar and at best a long shot. Shrug, they will probably money whip somebody like Saban or Briles and that will be that.
That isn't how it turned out. I don't know if he was their first choice or not. I can say he wasn't for some of the Big Money Donors (hereafter known as BMD). Despite the fact that Texas football makes scads of money, I mean piles and piles of green, donors are still important to the university. Rick Perry and the Lege have not exactly been forthcoming with dollars for things like research. Donors are important. However, and this is a big however, the new AD said fuck it, hire the man. He is exactly what we need in a coach, fired up, tough and able to take boys and mold them into football men. Mack was noted as being fatherly and supportive. Charlie is noted for giving you a shovel and making you dig in a ditch if you are unable to practice due to injury. I welcome that change. But, this isn't about football today, even if it should be. It is about progress in a state that desperately needs progress. It is telling other coaches that might happen to be not white that they too can be a head coach at a big time program. If this makes some racists go bonkers again, well good, they need to do that regularly so we can spot them better. Anyhow I said my piece. Hook'em Horns.