In a predominantly white college football landscape, Maryland became the first school in the FBS with a Black president, athletic director and head football coach Wednesday by hiring Dr. Darryll Pines to lead the university.
Damon Evans is one of 14 Black athletic directors in the FBS, while Mike Locksley is one of 14 Black head coaches in Division I. Over 86% of D-1 head coaches are white and if you exclude Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), the percentage of white coaches in Division-I football rises to nearly 93%.
Black head coaches aren’t afforded an extended window to run their program either. White coaches are considered to have more time to build a program, leaving Black head coaches with undesirable results, less time to turn things around and worse odds at getting another job because of it.
In a story from Yahoo Sports’ Lila Bromberg, Evans and Locksley shared their thoughts on college football’s lack of diversity and how they’re striving for an increased presence of African Americans in the nation’s top programs.
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“We haven’t been afforded those opportunities of five years at one position to really build it and grow it the way that you need to when the jobs that some of us take or have to take open up,” Locksley said. “So there’s no doubt there’s some things that hinder our ability to have the success we need to have to keep that door open for others.
With Evans heading the athletic department, Locksley has the job security to where he can build Maryland’s football program to the best of his ability.
Just one season into his tenure, Locksley has already turned some heads on the recruiting trail. He recently secured a big-name transfer in quarterback Taulia Tagovalioa and was one of Gonzaga superstar quarterback Caleb Williams’ final three schools before the upcoming senior chose Oklahoma.
“We all know the responsibility that we carry as Black men in these leadership positions,” Evans said. “Not only the responsibility to the institution as a whole in carrying out our jobs and the responsibility to our communities, but we also have a responsibility to help to grow the pool of minority candidates and to help others rise through the ranks to be able to achieve what we’ve been able to.”
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Maryland’s Mike Locksley, Damon Evans comment on college football’s diversity problem originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
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