Fritz Pollard Alliance “surprised” by absence of minority hires

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They don’t all come from offense, but all of the head coaching hires so far in this year’s cycle have something in common.

And the watchdog group that promotes minority candidates to the NFL and provides lists of qualified candidates admits it didn’t expect to be 0-for-6 at the moment.

Via Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, Fritz Pollard Alliance chairman John Wooten said the pattern so far has been stark.

“I’m very much aware of that, yes,” Wooten said. “The thing we’re looking at, I’ll be very open and frank with you, I’m very much surprised at some of the hirings that have been done so far. Like anything else, different people like different things, so that’s what you have to deal with.

“However, I feel that the searches in all places, they had diversity of interviews. You said, which we’re all aware, no minorities have been hired. We hope some will be.”

The Dolphins and Bengals still have openings, and both have interviewed minority candidates as the rest of them did. Wooten made it clear the decisions of others didn’t put any pressure on the two teams with vacancies, but he’s holding out hope. He’s also as surprised as a lot of people that the Cardinals hired fired Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury, and wasn’t expecting Adam Gase to be recycled so quickly to the Jets.

“Let me put it to you this way,” Wooten said, “we thought there would be probably four [minority] possibilities particular teams would go for. The surprise, if you could call it that, was the Arizona hiring. That was a little bit surprising. I think what they were trying to do was, everybody wants the quarterback whisperer, right? There’s a lot of talk about the new offenses and so forth even though these offenses are not new in this league.

“The other situation I was a little bit surprised in was the Jets hiring. Because when I sit and look at the fact Brian Flores coming out of New England. New England has dominated the AFC East over there. And Brian Flores would probably know about the Jets more than anybody.”

Wooten was careful to say he thought Gase was a good coach, which is true.

But the problem remains systemic. With the majority of head coaching hires going to offensive assistants, and the vast majority of those jobs being held by non-minorities, the lack of options in the pipeline will only exacerbate what is already a significant problem.

41 responses to “Fritz Pollard Alliance “surprised” by absence of minority hires

  1. Let’s see; the NFL team owners are almost exclusively billionaire Republican Trump supporters. Shocking that a group like that wouldn’t even try to hire minority coaches.

  2. The Fritz Pollard alliance was also surprised 3 outta 4 minority QBs lost their games last weekend…

  3. I don’t see the problem.

    Those complaining are saying that the percentage of black head coaches in the NFL should match the percentage of black players, namely 70%.

    WHY?

    Using that twisted logic, shouldn’t people be complaining that the percentage of black players in the NFL (70%) is much higher than the percentage of black people in the US (13%).

    This is a money business. Teams will hire coaches (and players)that give them the best chance to win (make money).

  4. The reality is, the trend right now is to hire QB gurus. Many QB coaches are former QBs. QB coach is the stepping stone to offensive coordinator and then head coach.

    ESPN’s Clinton Yates said there is a natural lag as black athletes until the last decade or so were pushed away from becoming QBs. So as long as the trend is to hire QB gurus as head coaches, it will take time for black candidates to materialize (citing the lack of black candidates going into coaching QBs…versus RB coaches and DB coaches.)

  5. “The other situation I was a little bit surprised in was the Jets hiring. Because when I sit and look at the fact Brian Flores coming out of New England. New England has dominated the AFC East over there. And Brian Flores would probably know about the Jets more than anybody.”

    Good coaches don’t come from the New England coaching tree. I’d hesitate to hire a coach from there as well. I doubt it has anything whatsoever to do with race.

  6. In this business winning is what matters… not color of skin. Same goes for the roster. No team should be concerned about quota’s but instead hire the best coach and player they can.

  7. Oh, please… the NFL is all about winning. They will hire green people if they could help teams win the SB. Domestic violence? No problem as long as you’re a winner. 70% of NFL players are black. Enough of this racial grumbling.

  8. The FPA is a joke. They don’t understand that they contributed to so many black coaches being fired this year. The system forces NFL teams to at least consider factors other than skill. Namely, race. It’s been my experience that whenever you start taking race into account for any reason, the end result is usually not good.

  9. Aside from Wilks/Kingsbury which people are (rightfully) harping on, the other black coaches fired were justifiable. Marvin and Bowles are 2 of the easiest firings in a long time. Joseph was pretty quick, but he had a horrible record and was a visibly terrible game manager.

  10. A possible explanation, teams hire a minority coach who is not ready but because of the Rooney Rule they are hired. When they are fired, the team believes that because they abided by the rule the pressure is off for the new hire, so they reach out to someone they want.

  11. jocko1181 says:
    January 10, 2019 at 5:01 pm
    Aside from Wilks/Kingsbury which people are (rightfully) harping on, the other black coaches fired were justifiable. Marvin and Bowles are 2 of the easiest firings in a long time. Joseph was pretty quick, but he had a horrible record and was a visibly terrible game manager.
    ______________

    Wilks’ firing was completely justified. There were signs & rumblings from early in the season, that he was in over his head. Should he have been given another season to see if he could evolve with experience? Normally, he probably should have. However, when you have a highly touted first round QB on roster, you do everything possible to ensure that QB’s success. Wilk’s failure to bring in an OC who could get the best out of David Johnson along with Rosen, was a big red flag.

    So the Cardinals decided to hit “eject” & bring in an offensive mind who works well with young QBs. Rather than risk another year of stunting the growth of Rosen & wasting Johnson’s talent.

  12. I dont care about all this Fritz Pollard Alliance stuff but ill tell you the man the foundation is named after was a hell of a ball player!

  13. I want the most qualified or those with the most upside. Period. My team gave Marvin Lewis 16 years to be mediocre and all signs point to them hiring Bieniemy. Rishard also seems highly thought of and I think he has the energy to be a great coach. Steve Wilks in my opinion got a raw deal but all of the other firings were pretty justified.

  14. Only a matter of time before you are forced to hire a minority HC to satisfy some silly rule. #progress #mediocracy

  15. good grief…so you’re forced to interview at least 1 minority candidate & then you’re not allowed to fire them.

  16. I believe one of the biggest obstacles to hiring minority coaches is the complaining and criticizing that come if you want to fire him…for this reason it is easier to hire a non-minority to start with.

  17. Enough w/the NE coaching tree already. None of these assistants that were hired as HC have been successful at all and nothing says Flores would’ve been either. They should all be happy they were employed for as long as they were and have been. NOTHING happens in NE that doesn’t have BB stamp on it. Vance Joseph was terrible and still got a chance. Wilks was a last ditch hire and apparently a regretful one. Now tell me this…every year I hear David Shaw being mentioned and I would go a step further to say James Franklin could probably choose any spot he wanted if interested. They ARE HC already not assistants w/limited experience. Check those facts out Fritz.

  18. robkeezy says:
    January 10, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    Todd Bowles to Tampa doesn’t count? Why are we keeping score?

    …………………………………………….

    He isn’t a head coach so no, he doesn’t count. Not that I care.

  19. Here is a big reason there are less minority coaches. Tony Dungy quit.

    Just by quitting there is 1 less minority coach. Also, his coaching tree produced 5 minority head coaches. (Herm, Lovie, Tomlin, Frazier, Caldwell) That tree no longer grows from Tony.

    College is failing miserably at giving minorities a chance. Its up to NFL coaches to give those opportunities to deserving coaches.

    Guys like Andy Reid and Belichick are doing a decent job at it.

    Guys like Dungy and Rivera are better at diversity.

    Quotas are never the answer and attacking the Cardinals a year after they gave a minority a chance is just stupid.

  20. robkeezy says:
    January 10, 2019 at 4:45 pm
    “Todd Bowles to Tampa doesn’t count? Why are we keeping score?”

    Because race is all we should focus on to keep account of justice in the world.

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