Even though the COVID-19 pandemic could not stop the college football season, it did manage to slow down the head coaching carousel dramatically. So far, there have only been eleven head coaching changes at NCAA FBS programs at a time in the season when we usually see more than twenty moves.
Black FBS Head Coaching Ranks Hit Hard
Unfortunately—like COVID-19, which kills black people at a rate nearly three times that of whites—this year’s FBS head coaching firings have also taken a more significant toll on African Americans. This season three of the eleven dismissals at the 130 NCAA FBS programs involved Black coaches (Derek Mason, Vanderbilt; Lovie Smith, Illinois and Kevin Sumlin, Arizona State).
Making matters worse, FBS schools have not hired any Black head coaches this season, leaving only eleven Black head coaches at FBS schools. The current percentage of African American head coaches at FBS schools is 8.46%—a ratio much less than the population percentage of Blacks in the U.S. (13.3%) and outrageously far less than the 54.3% black student-athlete participation rate at FBS programs, according to studies by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports (TIDES). Update Note: On January 16, 2021, Marshall hired Alabama RB coach Charles Huff as their new head coach, making Huff the first African American NCAA FBS head coach hired this season.
I’ve talked and written about the insultingly low number of Black head football coaches at NCAA Division I schools far too long without seeing any significant change in the past twenty-five years.
Recently, ESPN’s Ivan Maisel wrote a great article titled “The lack of Black college football coaches is still glaring, and so are the excuses behind it.”
Maisel’s article, packed with great statistical information and experienced commentary from various sources, captures my sentiments regarding this issue. I encourage everyone to read it because it’s time; it’s time for change—now!
Last updated January 19, 2021
2020-2021 NCAA FBS Head Coaching Changes
|#||School||Conference||Old Coach||Reason for Move||New Coach, Former Position|
|1.||Arizona||Pac 12||Kevin Sumlin||Fired||Jedd Fisch, UCLA AHC|
|2.||Arkansas State||Sun Belt||Blake Anderson||Resigned went to Utah.||Butch Jones, Tennessee HC|
|3.||Auburn||SEC||Gus Malzahn||Fired||Bryan Harsin, Boise State HC|
|4.||Boise State||Mountain West||Bryan Harsin||Resigned went to Auburn.||Andy Alvos, Oregon DC,|
|5.||Illinois||Big Ten||Lovie Smith||Fired||Bret Bielema, NFL NYG OLB, former FBS HC at Arkansas and Wisconsin|
|6.||Marshall||USA||Doc Holliday||Fired||Charles Huff, Alabama, RB|
|7.||South Alabama||Sun Belt||Steve Campbell||Fired||Kane Womack, Indiana DC|
|8.||South Carolina||SEC||Will Muschamp||Fired||Shane Beamer, Oklahoma State AHC/TE|
|9.||Texas||Big 12||Tom Herman||Fired||Steve Sarkisian, Alabama OC|
|10.||Southern Miss||USA||Jay Hopson||Fired||Will Hall, Tulane OC|
|11.||Utah State||Mountain West||Gary Anderson||Fired||Blake Anderson, Arkansas State HC|
|12.||U. Louisiana-Monroe||Sun Belt||Matt Viator||Fired||Terry Bowden, Akron HC|
|13.||Derek Mason||SEC||Vanderbilt||Fired||Clark Lea, Notre Dame DC|