Fritz Pollard Alliance lists preferred minority candidates for 2015


With the annual hiring cycle looming, the Fritz Pollard Alliance has published an annual list of candidates for consideration by NFL teams compelled, due to a history of not giving fair consideration to minority candidates, to interview at least one minority candidate for every head-coaching vacancy.

Via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin (pictured) has a spot on the nine-person list.

“We’d be very disappointed if he doesn’t [get an interview],” Fritz Pollard Alliance chairman John Wooten told Birkett.  “That’s something that we look very hard at, who’s getting the interviews.”

Other candidates on the list include Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, Buccaneers defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, Titans defensive coordinator Ray Horton, Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, Packers assistant head coach Winston Moss, and former 49ers coach Mike Singletary.

A recent report from NFL Media pegged Singletary, who currently is out of football, as a potential candidate for NFL head-coaching jobs.  Which in light of Singletary’s experience with the 49ers and the fact that he’s currently out of football seems to be a very major stretch, to say the least.  Others on the list whose candidacies for head-coaching jobs would be hard to justify in the current hiring cycle are Fewell, Frazier, Horton, and Moss.

But Austin, Bowles, Hamilton, and Jackson merit serious consideration, based currently on merit.  As Bowles said earlier this season on PFT Live, when your team is doing well, you’re a good coach.  When it’s not doing well, you’re a bad coach.  For the folks who hire football coaches — and who in turn must defend those decisions to a fan base of paying customers — recent success becomes critical to the perception that the coach can get the job done.

While many dispute the fairness or effectiveness of the Rooney Rule, it serves an important function by forcing teams to conduct a genuine search.  Far too often, owners enter the hiring process knowing who they want to hire.  Tapping the brakes becomes conducive to a more inclusive process that can lead to multiple other viable candidates, regardless of race or ethnicity.

57 responses to “Fritz Pollard Alliance lists preferred minority candidates for 2015

  1. I guess I am failing to see why owners knowing who they want to hire automatically means they won’t consider all races or ethnicities. That implies that all owners are looking to hire someone, a white guy, based off the color of their skin and not their track record as a coach themselves. That seems a bit odd considering the spirit of the rule is to eliminate racism in hiring while being racist towards white guys. And let’s be real, bringing these guys in for an interview for a job they won’t get because an owner already knows who he is going to hire simply based on meeting some quota is racist and demeaning to those individuals. Not to mention, if these guys aren’t interviewed is the media and this “alliance” planning to scream racism? That means their just getting the ingerview based on their race. Again, racism. Read it slow, it makes sense.

    Any position in any walk of life, that considers race, of any kind, for that position is inherently racist. This is 2014(15) and the fact of the matter is today’s world is not the same as it was 50 or 60 years ago. That rings especially true in the NFL where the main goal of the greedy owners and Goodell is to make money. How do you make money? By winning. How do you win? Hire the best personnel men, including coaches, regardless of race. The ONLY thing that matters in today’s NFL is the bottom line. It’s time to abandon the Rooney Rule and the racism that accompanies it.

  2. So they’ve identified nine minorities so they can accuse teams of being racist by not interviewing, which is really the only reason this was drafted in the first place. What about the other qualified candidates that didn’t make the list?

  3. Fewell’s star has risen and fallen without him getting a shot, which is kinda sad when you consider that spagnuolo had the world handed to him for the same achievements.

    But some of the other names on this list are a bit suspect; like any coach *of any color* who had his shot and failed, Leslie Fraser will have to earn his way back onto the interview lists of owners searching for new coaches by putting together an unbelievable defense. To say the least, that didn’t happen this season.

  4. To be honest, i think its a bit premature for Austin…

    He has been an NFL DC for only one season, and while he took essentially the same group Gunther Cunningham had last year from worst to first, one year of success as a DC does not necessarily make one a legitimate candidate for HC.

    I do wish him nothing but the best in his career, but hope he stays in Detroit long term.

  5. It doesn’t help the cause to list people unqualified to be a head coach. Perry fewell and Mike singleterry drag down everyone else they list and make it harder for people to take this seriously.

  6. I love how some people refuse to see the way they benefit from institutionalized racism and cry when minority’s deservedly try to even the playing field.

  7. I like that Mike pointed out that most of that list aren’t really good candidates.

    I disagree with his assessment of Jackson though, his offense in Cinci this year has been so/so, in Oakland it was so/so as well, and then he tried the coup in Oakland. That last one is something that will keep him from consideration with a number of teams.

    It is interesting that every year the FPA says that more teams should be looking at minority candidates instead of retreads BUT their list has a bunch of retreads on it.

    Is the Rooney rule effective, I am not sure that it is. The owners that go in knowing who they want, still hire who they want. The head of any major company once they decide on something typically an interview isn’t going to change their minds. It also seems that teams interview minority candidates that they don’t seem to have any real interest in just to satisfy the rule. So how is that working to help with minority hiring? Most hiring managers don’t look favorably at the people they are forced to look into.

    If they really wanted to help with minority hiring they would get a list of the top 50 non-minority candidates from college and the pros, and then the top 50 minority candidates get them together in networking events with the owners, front office personnel, and current head coaches so that they can start getting to meet and know the candidates and have them all on a level playing field.

    If you have people get to know the candidates with the same amount of exposure, the candidates with the most talent regardless of race will come to the top, because in today’s NFL the owners care about green more than anything else.

    The issue that the minority candidates have is that they currently aren’t known as well and have a problem breaking in just like non-minority candidates that are new. This is evidenced by the fact that there are so many retreads currently.

    Stop forcing people to interview people based on race, and help the minority candidates try to stand on a level starting field, and you will see that more minority candidates will be hired based on talent.

  8. How is that a “genuine search”?

    1. You must interview someone based on the color of their skin.

    2. Here is a list of people from which you should choose your candidates.

    It is asinine to think that by SEGREGATING the candidates, we are creating equality. Enough already. Stop focusing on skin color and it will become less of an issue. Continue focusing on it and it segregates.

  9. Teams should be able to hire who they want without regard to race, creed, color, etc…

    Should be based strictly on capability.

  10. It does not force a genuine search. It forces teams to provide token interviews to guys who happen to be minorities. Your premise means you believe NFL owners would rather lose with a white guy than win with a black guy. For guys that seem out to get every last dollar, that is preposterous because wins = money. What it really does is help white liberals feel better and the black coaches brought in feel like a pain. Way to go.

  11. Giants & Bucs D are awful and have been. Indy doesn’t know what a running game is, Bengals O can either get 30 points or shut out.

    On that list, not coordinator deserves to being interviewed.

    Owners are billionaires because they do not discriminate. They make hires based off whom they think will be successful; not the color of their skin.

  12. The rule doesn’t force an owner to hire somebody that they don’t want to hire, but there is value if it can stimulate open-mindedness in making hiring decisions. Anything to combat discrimination of any type for highly coveted NFL jobs is a wonderful thing. I wish there were more measures that did as such, so I can appreciate the intentions of the concept.

    Congratulations to Teryl Austin for gaining recognition after helping the Detroit Defense to do the same this year!

  13. I’d like some quotas applied to wide receivers and defensive backs too please. And why are there no women head coaches? 51% of the population, right? And where are all the Latinos and Asians? Fair is fair.

  14. Just get the best person available. Maybe they’re White and maybe they’re black, at this point, I don’t really care. Nobody wants to be a token, especially black people and I say that as one.

    I’d rather be told I got a job based on my skills, not because I’m viewed as somehow inferior to my white peers and am due unneeded pity because of it. Nobody should go through life feeling as if all of their accomplishments were the results of a company/team/school just trying to fill a quota. Do you understand how much psychological stress that puts on somebody? That will lead to self doubt in the long run.

    Everybody these days, regardless of race, political ideology or ethnicity is so quick to play the race card and try and use race as a way to stir the pot up. It’s sad that we live in a country with supposed grown adults who can’t act mature when it comes to this tricky issue of race.

    Race is a real thing; is it the end all be all? No.

  15. Load of garbage. There are more than a few fine black head coaches and GMs in the league already that have proven time and again that they are highly capable. At this level and with the evidence and stakes involved I find it difficult to believe teams would unilaterally over look talent and competence based on race.

    The Fritz Pollard Alliance should begin making a list of ALL deserving candidates to send the message that everybody wants to and are ready to put the worst of our racial difficulties behind us.

  16. Jackson is winning games with Andy Dalton as his qb. He doesn’t deserve a head coaching job.. He deserves a freaking congressional Medal of Honor.

  17. 2 points…..

    Norm Chow anyone?

    “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” -MLK Jr.

    Let’s judge the potential candidates by the content of their character and ability to do their profession and not by anything else

  18. Ray Horton is a good coach and should get some consideration.

    I would rather see the Alliance push guys for assistant coach positions. Yes, the HC gets all the attention and more money. But, most of those guys were coordinators or position coaches prior, and there are a lot more jobs at those levels (last I counted, there are 32 head coaches, but arguably less since a few owners tend to micromanage).

    Pushing for the HC interviews, just results in some token interviews that somehow the Owner is supposed to apologize for hiring who he wanted all along. And I don’t believe for a second that Mike Tomlin got hired in Pittsburgh because he is African-American. I think the Rooneys wanted a young coach and felt he was a better fit than Whisenhunt or Grimm.

  19. Regarding Teryl Austin, I’m not certain he’s HC material right yet. (I could be wrong of course) I’d prefer to see him work with Caldwell and transition to the Detroit HC job when Caldwell retires (or leaves). In the Lions case, the consistency would be a good thing.

  20. Horton, Hue Jackson, and Bowles, in my opinion, are the only ones that I think I would give head-coaching jobs to.

    Bowles for sure, , But the other two I believe deserve jobs because they know how to do a lot with less. Horton lost his linebackers and and his run defense may have gone down, but he still has a respectable pass defense. Jackson has been a good head coach before with a lot of bad personnel and defensive coaches whom he did not personally hire.

    I think at least two out of the three I mentioned deserve head-coaching jobs. Also, if you are a team take the quality coach out of your divisional rival’s office if you can. That’ll mean a huge advantage.

  21. Singletary? Frazier?

    It’s clear that the alliance is simply laying the groundwork for future PR. When some of these guys inevitably aren’t given an interview, they’ll have something to point to when screaming about racism and demanding face time.

    Minority candidates deserve better than the Fritz Pollard Alliance.

  22. so they would like a team to interview a coach (frazier) who was a flop as a HC before just because he is black?

    That is some dumb stuff right there.

  23. ray horton is the perfect example of Bowles’ quote:
    As Bowles said earlier this season on PFT Live, when your team is doing well, you’re a good coach. When it’s not doing well, you’re a bad coach.

    its not like horton forgot how to run a defense because he’s in tennessee

  24. I’m sure the guys on this list love being paraded out like a conga line… here’s our list of black coaches, somebody better hire at least a couple of these and every team with an opening needs to interview one of them, it doesn’t matter if they’re capable or not because if you don’t hire them you’re racist.
    Leslie Frazier? Great guy and wonderful human being, but should not be a head coach.
    Singletary? Great player, but hasn’t proven he can get it done as a coordinator, let alone a Head Coach.
    Fewell? has done nothing to warrant a HC job.
    Austin & Bowles have both done a very good job as a DC, and should warrant at least some consideration this year. But based on their coaching ability, not skin color.

    By these groups making “lists” and requiring every opening to have at least a token interview (even if the team already knows who they want to hire) does not eliminate racism, it helps to keep it going. Which in the end is what these organizations make their money from. So let the hypocrisy continue.

  25. kingmj4891 says:
    Dec 17, 2014 9:08 AM
    The Fritz Pollard Alliance is nothing but legal racism.
    With the exception that the league is dominated by white male owners who created the business almost 100 years ago and, basically, sell their interests to other white businessmen who tend to choose people that remind them of themselves. So there’s that.

    But, THAT, aside the best candidates should be interviewed and hired—that has not always been the case. Once we have more minority owners in the club, there will no longer be a need for Fritz. We’re not there yet.

  26. And people misunderstand the purpose of the Pollard society. It’s to get qualified candidates in front of Owners/GMs to “expose” them to the process AND the Owners/GMs to qualified DCs. That’s how Pittsburgh found Mike Tomlin. He was not on anyone list and blew everyone in that organization away.

    But, I think Fewell and Singletary are a misuse of the process. Everyone knows who they are—nothing new to see. But Austin is the prime example…a rising star who warrants consideration.

  27. Todd Bowles definitely deserves consideration for a HC job, after that it’s a rather uninspiring list. Leslie Frazier may be worth another look in the next year or two. Hue is a loose cannon, no way you bring him in to the fold.

    Now if David Shaw (Stanford) and Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M) are even willing to talk, then we’ve got something.

  28. It’s nice to say that candidates are already judged simply by competence. It’s easy as a white guy to believe it. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way in the NFL, and accidental or unintentional racism still has an effect. Owners and general managers like to hire coaches who make them comfortable, and if a coach’s skin color makes an owner a little more uncomfortable, that’s sometimes enough to keep that coach from getting an interview.

    The Rooney Rule is a bit of a kludge, sure, and the end goal SHOULD be to get rid of it. But the rule is the best thing we’ve got right now, and society still doesn’t provide a level playing field by itself.

  29. The owners sell to whoever can give them the most. They typically sell to other old white men as you put it because that is who can afford to give them insane amounts of cash.

    As of 2014 – there are 9 black billionaires in the world and only 1 of them resides in the US (Oprah Winfrey). I didn’t see her trying to buy the Bills when they were sold recently. However, when the Jags were sold, they went to a minority owner because he had the cash.

    Again the NFL owners are all about money, ethnicity means very little to them anymore. If you can help them get more green, then your color really doesn’t matter.

  30. This rule was maybe important 10 years ago….

    Today, is a different environment in the NFL. Owners are way too savvy to get caught up in racial biases.. They want to win.

  31. im sick and tired of everyone using mike tomlin as an example of why the “rooney” rule has worked.

    that opinion doesn’t really hold much merit when it came from the guy the rule was named after

    its obvious the Rooney’s were going to hire tomlin anyway and then just came up with some story how they were never going to hire a black coach until mike tomlin came in and “blew them away” yeah that doesn’t sound like they are patting themselves on the back at all

  32. On behalf of all New York Giants fans we hope Perry Fewell gets a head coaching position. I will write the letter of recommendation. PLease, please, take him off our hands.

  33. Fork over a billion or two and you can buy a franchise regardless of color. The fact you care about the current owners skin color is repulsive.

  34. The Fritz Pollard Association Recommends Perry Fewell.

    I recommend that the Fritz Pollard Association actually watch a damn football game.

    Perry is an horrible DC.


  35. So by that logic harveyredman, the racism that was institutionalized, was cured in one decade. False, within that decade, 2012 to be more specific, as many as eight head coaching jobs and seven general managers positions became available. And while compliance with the rule may have been met, no minorities were hired for those positions, while 68% of the players are African American. Seems curious to me that since minority coaches have winning percentages that are better than those of non-minorities that “They want to win.” is the primary consideration.

  36. Has the FPA even talked to and interviewed these guys to know who is HC material? NFL teams have a hard enough time knowing which coordinators will be successful making the jump to HC.

  37. To me that is just a partial list of black guys currently coaching in the NFL. Of that list, Hamilton and Bowles are the only worthwhile candidates.

    Why not include Kevin Sumlin or Charlie Strong?

    Does the Fritz Pollard Alliance get paid from the dues of black NFL employees or something? Why no college coaches?

  38. My list would include Jackie Slater.

    I’d also call Tony Dungy just to confirm that he still doesn’t want to come back.

    I have a dream that one day coaches will not be judged by the color of their skin but by their win/loss records and the content of their character. Until then, well, the Fritz Pollard Alliance is an imperfect solution.

  39. Hue’s a great coach. Unforgiveable mistake by Reggie firing Hue. The guy had DMC playing like a borderline MVP candidate and had DHB within a catch of being a 1,000 yard receiver. Got us to 8-8 back to back years despite a historically awful defense (which he didn’t really control due to his role as OC in year 1 and org structure in year 2), and a mish-mash of Jason Campbell, Bruce Gradkowski, and an off-the-couch in mid-season Carson Palmer at QB. Phenomenal coaching job. No debating it.

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