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KCBS In Depth: Black Coaches In College Football

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The college football coaching fraternity is littered with top-notch coaches all across the land. But there is still a major void in the eyes of some.

Former San Jose State University Head Coach and the current president of Arkansas Baptist College Dr. Fitz Hill has written a book about the current situation for African American coaches in college football called “Crackback! How College Football Blindsides The Hopes Of Black Coaches.”

The book is the result of more than 20 years of study on the topic by Hill. “There are barriers that still exist and Crackback was written to identify those barriers and hopefully, provide solutions,” said Hill.

KCBS Interviews Dr. Fitz Hill:

Dr. Hill surveyed and interviewed hundreds of college coaches for the study, researching hirings and firings in the college football world, and found that the NFL is doing a much better job of “leveling the playing field” for African American coaches than at the college level.

“When you look at the process of hiring, you have a system in place where the college presidents allow external factors to dictate the hiring of a football coach. You would not hire a president, a dean or any other leadership position the way you hire a college football coach,” Hill said. “When college football comes into play, you have boosters, who expand their influence over a period of time. They’re involved in the process more than they actually should be.”

Hill said that the NFL came up with the Rooney Rule, which requires that teams interview minority candidates before hiring a head coach, making it a much clearer process. On the other hand, the NCAA has regulations for every other aspect of college athletics with the exception of hiring, stating that that decision is the prerogative of the individual university.

Hill said he would never call for a quota in hiring but wants the process to be inclusive for all candidates, no matter what race they are. He said one of the major problems he sees in college coaching is a form of “black on black crimes” because minority candidates are often pitted against each other for the limited jobs that are available to them.

One of the universities that has been a shining example for African American coaches is another Bay Area school, Stanford University, which has hired two very successful coaches, Tyrone Willingham and David Shaw.

They are the only two African American coaches to ever take their programs to a BCS bowl game.

You can hear KCBS In Depth, a weekly half-hour news interview, Saturdays at 5:30a.m. and Sundays at 8:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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