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Study: Leadership opportunities lacking for black offensive coaches

On Thursday, FootballScoop released a study examining the dearth of black offensive line coaches in college football. In taking a wider picture among offensive staffs in college football, opportunities are equally scarce for black offensive coordinators. 

Of the 142 coaches with an offensive coordinator title (counting both primary and co-coordinators at the 128 FBS schools) in FBS, only 10 are black. They are:

- Dameyune Craig: co-offensive coordinator, wide receivers coach, Auburn
- Lawrence Dawsey: co-offensive coordinator, wide receivers coach, Florida State
- Karl Dorrell, offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach, Vanderbilt
- Ivin Jasper: offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach, Navy
- Mike Locksley: offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach, Maryland
- Calvin Magee: co-offensive coordinator, running backs coach, Arizona
- George McDonald: assistant head coach, offensive coordinator, wide receivers coach, Syracuse
- Garrick McGee: offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach, Louisville
- Scottie Montgomery: offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach, Duke
- Alex Wood: offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach, Buffalo

(Mississippi State's Brian Johnson coaches quarterbacks, but does not have an offensive coordinator title. Stepping in for a spot vacated by former offensive coordinator Les Koenning, Johnson will likely shoulder some offensive coordinator duties for the Bulldogs.)

At seven percent, the number of black coaches in leadership positions on the offensive side of the ball nearly triples the number of black offensive line coaches (3-in-128, or 2.3 percent), but falls well behind the number of black coaches on defense. One level above, three of the 32 NFL teams (9.4 percent) employ black offensive coordinators: the Arizona Cardinals (Harold Goodwin), Cincinnati Bengals (Hue Jackson) and Indianapolis Colts (Pep Hamilton).  

Our survey indicates that 55 percent of FBS defensive backs coaches are black, compared with 48 percent of defensive line coaches, 21 percent of linebackers coaches and 17 percent of coaches with defensive coordinator titles. 

Why does it matter if black coaches are so underrepresented on offensive staffs? Because athletics directors and university presidents prefer to hire coaches with an offensive background. Of the 51 FBS head coaches hired over the past two hiring cycles, 37 (72.5 percent) had offensive backgrounds. 

Six schools - Bowling Green, Kent State, Penn State, Purdue, South Florida and Vanderbilt - have hired black head coaches over the past two years. Of those six, four had offensive backgrounds. Overall, a dozen of the 128 FBS head coaches (9.4 percent) are black. 

Representation of Black Coaches

Head Coach  9.4%
Offensive Coordinator  5.6%
Defensive Coordinator 17.3%
Quarterbacks coach 3.6%
Running backs coach 63.3%
Wide receivers coach 48.4%
Offensive line coach 2.3%
Linebackers coach 21.3%
Defensive line coach 48.5%
Defensive backs coach 54.9%

Simply put, securing an offensive coordinator position is a much easier path to a head coaching job. Which is why it's alarming that so few black coaches are being given the opportunity. 

(Note: This story has been updated at 8:12 p.m. ET)

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