FULTON, Md. — University of Maryland head football coach Michael Locksley announced the formation of the National Coalition of Minority Football Coaches (NCMFC) Aug. 6. The NCMFC was formed as a multi-pronged effort to remove roadblocks, increase awareness and spur action toward fair and equitable hiring at all levels of football.
Locksley’s non-profit organization will seek to prepare, promote and produce qualified minority coaches to ascend in the ranks of college and professional football. The organization will identify and groom coaches of color (male and female) for upward mobility and create a candidates list that will be vetted by a board of directors that includes some of the most respected and powerful names in sport.
“When I took the Maryland job last year and looked at the landscape of college football, I thought to myself, There’s something missing. I’m on the back nine of my career and the pathway to becoming a head coach is still as difficult as when I got into the business in 1992,” said Locksley. “I wanted to create an organization that would be able to help prepare, promote and produce the next group of coaches coming up through the ranks at every level.”
A study from the Global Sport Institute at Arizona State University showed that at least 77-percent of offensive coordinators hired throughout college football over the last 10 years were white and out of 130 FBS eligible schools, only 14 head coaches are minorities. This data along with the current transformative times in our society led Locksley to form this coalition.
“I have dedicated the better part of my 25-year coaching career to leveling the playing field for minority coaches everywhere,” Locksley said. “I worked hard to create opportunities in my career, sometimes with assistance from others, but more often through my own perseverance. I have learned many things. I have benefited from those who have gone before me so I feel a sense of obligation to help others.”
Beyond preparing, promoting and producing qualified minority coaches, the NCMFC will offer educational, professional development, networking opportunities to refine and develop all who are interested in coaching and promoting those coaches who are ready to take that next step.
Joining Locksley on the Board of Directors are some of the biggest names in the sport of football, including Super Bowl-winning Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin; six-time national title winner Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban and pro football and college Hall of Famer Ozzie Newsome, who was the first African American general manager in the NFL and who constructed two Super Bowl championships for the Baltimore Ravens.
The board will utilize their years of insight from the field and front office operations and platform not only to advocate for minority coaches, but also to provide analytics demonstrating the business case for diversity.
“These are all people that have either hired head coaches or coordinators or filled upper-level positions throughout their careers,” Locksley said. “They all have been at the top of the mountain, per se, in their respective areas, whether winning Super Bowls or national championships or being pioneers, like Debbie Yow and Willie Jeffries. We want to use their experiences to help us formulate and produce the list of qualified candidates, so when people say there aren’t enough minorities to fill the positions that have come open over the years, we’re going to produce a list of qualified people that shows there are qualified people. What’s needed is opportunities.”
For more information about the National Coalition of Minority Football Coaches, visit: ncmfc.com.
— Maryland Athletics press release
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