Tracking the Growth and Success of FBS African American coaches: Week 1

Some people say “the darker the berry the sweeter the juice” which does hold true for most of the fruits that we often find ourselves eating. Myself and my fellow African-Americans when describing us in a positive light depending in certain situations also commonly use that saying. However that saying is far from the truth when looking at the number of African-American head football coaches at the FBS level. There are currently 12 Black head coaches manning the sidelines of college football highest division, which is good for 10 percent of the 120 FBS programs.  The positive thing about those 12 head coaches is that there are good quality men and damn good football coaches amongst them. This is evidence by the fact that African-Americans coach three teams in the newest top 10 poll. The three of those men would be David Shaw (Stanford) Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M) and Charlie Strong (Louisville).  Given the three of them success I am going to do a weekly installment of monitoring the progress of the 12 African-American Head Coaches at the FBS level.

Dennis Green was the first black head coach at a FBS School.

Dennis Green was the first black head coach at a FBS School.

Week 1

Charlie Strong (Louisville)- The Cardinals beat the Brady Hoke’s archrival the Ohio Bobcats 49-7.  Lead by Heisman candidate Teddy Bridgewater who threw 5tds the Cardinals should be a top 10 for the duration of the season. If Strong can pull off an undefeated season look for him to move on the greener pastures after this season.

Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M)- The Aggies knocked off in state foe Rice 52-31 even with star QB Johnny Manziel being benched for the first half. It is going to be an interesting second season for Sumlin on College Station. Not only does he play in the toughest division in college football the SEC West but also he has microscope on his program every week due to Manziel antics. It will be interesting to see the scrutiny he will receive throughout the season not only for how is team plays on the field but how he handles the locker room.

David Shaw (Stanford)- The Stanford Cardinal kickoff their season September 7th against the San Jose St. Spartans

James Franklin (Vanderbilt)- Franklin and the Vanderbilt Commodores suffered an opening weekend loss at the hands of conference foe Ole Miss. In what was one of the more entertaining games of the weekend the Commodores surrendered a touchdown late in the fourth quarter to Ole Miss rb Jeff Scott. Playing in the SEC is always tough but with back to back bowl appearances in his first two seasons in Nashville. Expect franklin to have the Commodores on the cusp of bowl contention again.

Ron English (Eastern Michigan)- English lead the eagles to a season opening win over FCS foe Howard. In what was one of only two matchups on this list from this past weekend that consisted of two teams being lead by black head coaches. Things get much tougher for Eastern Michigan next week as they had to State College to take on Penn St.

Darrell Hazell (Purdue)- I am pretty sure that Coach Hazell didn’t plan for his first ever game as the leader of the Boilermakers to be a 42-7 loss to Cincinnati. This was a game in which Purdue was dominated in every facet of the game offense, defense, and special teams. The most glaring thing about the loss was the lack of toughness and discipline that Boilermakers showed. Being an Ohio State fan and knowing what Hazell is capable of (he was Jim Tressel top assistant before taking the head coaching job at Kent St) it is going to be a long week for the players in black and gold.

Darrell Hazell addressing his team during this past weekend loss verse Cincinnati

Darrell Hazell addressing his team during this past weekend loss verse Cincinnati

Curtis Johnson (Tulane)- Green Wave QB Nick Montana the former blue chip recruit and son hall of famer Joe Montana threw for 144 yds and 2tds on just 6 completions. Leading the Green Wave to a win over FCS foe Jackson St.

Mike London (Virginia) – Mike London’s fourth season in Charlottesville got off to a good start with a 19-16 win over visiting BYU. Coach London quest for his second bowl appearance in his tenure gets a lot tougher with #2 Oregon coming to town this Saturday.

Garrick McGee (UAB)- The Blazers suffered a heart breaking OT loss to Troy. In the process of doing so they allowed Troy QB Corey Robinson to set the NCAA record for accuracy by completing 30-32 pass attempts. Not a good start for McGee as his Blazers who only won 3 games the previous season take on LSU this coming Saturday.

Ruffin McNeill (East Carolina)- Manning the ship of one of the more underrated football programs in the country. McNeill has ECU headed in the right direction. Two bowl games in his first three seasons and a division title last year has Pirate fans excited. A 52-38 win over Old Dominion a future conference foe of ECU currently playing, as an independent is a good start. Next week brings a home match up against conference opponent Florida Atlantic.

01_usf120912_400x30_251262aWillie Taggart (South Florida)- What can I say about the first ever football game for the South Florida Bulls under Willie Taggart, a 53-21 loss to FCS McNeese St? I think we should let the coach speak for himself. “I’d like to apologize to the Bulls Nation for that performance,” Taggart said afterward. “That was awful. I’m very disappointed. It was just a piss-poor effort by our guys all around.” This week gets worse when they go on the road to face Michigan St and one of the best defenses in the country.

Don Treadwell (Miami of Ohio)- The Red Hawks lost to the Thundering Herd of Marshall 52-14 to start the season. The extent to which they loss by is disappointing but it was also going to be difficult to replace NFL draft pick Zac Dysert at QB. This week the face Kentucky who is coming off of a tough loss of their own to Western Kentucky. If you are looking for a stupid upset pick of the week I would go with the red hawks.

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