May 15, 2008

Black coaches: A look ahead, a look back

MORE: Sumlin believes he can win big at Houston | Past black head coaches

Kentucky already has announced that offensive coordinator Joker Phillips will become coach when Rich Brooks retires. We asked Merritt Norvell to help us come up with a list of 10 other black assistants who are ready to become college head coaches. Norvell is executive vice president and managing director of DHR International, the fifth-largest executive-search firm in the United States. Norvell, a former athletic director at Michigan State, also runs the Minority Football Coaching Academies for the NCAA.

1. DeWayne Walker, UCLA defensive coordinator: He has built some of the top defenses in the nation of late. He's considered a big-time recruiter. His star may cool a bit if UCLA has a poor season.
2. Jay Norvell, Oklahoma co-offensive coordinator: The former NFL assistant has strong credentials and is considered an excellent teacher. Needs to be with hot team to get the right head-coaching call. This could be the year. (Jay is Merritt Norvell's son.)
3. Mike Locksley, Illinois offensive coordinator: A great recruiter and teacher. Illini need to have a big offensive season for him to get the call. On a lot of short lists.
4. Tyrone Nix, Ole Miss defensive coordinator: He's young (35) but has had a lot of success with his defenses. Has worked for excellent head coaches at Southern Miss (Jeff Bower) and South Carolina (Steve Spurrier).
5. Woody McCorvey, Mississippi State offensive coordinator: Excellent coach with strong credentials, but his age (57) will be a factor for some schools.
6. Mel Tucker, Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator: Young (36) but moving up the coaching chain quickly. He was named the Browns' defensive coordinator in January after spending three seasons as the secondary coach. Has had excellent mentors at Ohio State (Jim Tressel), LSU (Nick Saban) and Cleveland (Romeo Crennel).
7. Charlie Strong, Florida defensive coordinator: Has had lots of interviews and should have been a head coach by now. Good coach but needs to work on off-field skills.
8. Ron English, Louisville defensive coordinator: Former Michigan defensive coordinator needs more exposure and probably is two or three years from serious offers.
9. James Franklin, Maryland offensive coordinator: Immediate fortunes depend on how Maryland does. Young (36) coach with strong credentials and will run Ralph Friedgen's offense.
10. Garrick McGee, Arkansas quarterback coach: Bright guy, and former Northwestern offensive coordinator (and former Oklahoma quarterback). Exposure to Bobby Petrino will be good for his future. Lots of potential, but two or three years from serious offers.
OTHERS TO WATCH: Charlie Baggett, Washington wide receivers coach; Mike Haywood, Notre Dame offensive coordinator; Calvin Magee, Michigan offensive coordinator; Marvin Sanders, Nebraska secondary coach; David Shaw, Stanford offensive coordinator; Eric Studesville, Buffalo Bills running backs coach; Don Treadwell, Michigan State offensive coordinator; Tom Williams, Jacksonville Jaguars defensive assistant; Kirby Wilson, Pittsburgh Steelers running backs coach.

"Previous job" refers to job prior to becoming head coach.
Jerry Baldwin, Southwestern Louisiana
Tenure: 1999-2001. Record: 6-27.
Previous Job: LSU defensive ends coach.
Current Job: Minister in Ruston, La.
John Blake, Oklahoma
Tenure: 1996-98. Record: 12-22.
Previous Job: Dallas Cowboys defensive line coach.
Current Job: North Carolina defensive line coach.
Willie Brown, Long Beach State
Tenure: 1991. Record: 2-9.
Previous Job: Long Beach State secondary coach.
Current Job: Oakland Raiders assistant secondary coach
Cleve Bryant, Ohio U.
Tenure: 1985-89. Record: 9-44-2.
Previous Job: New England Patriots running backs coach.
Current Job: Associate athletic director at Texas.
Jim Caldwell, Wake Forest
Tenure: 1993-2000. Record: 26-63 (1-0 in bowls).
Previous Job: Penn State quarterback coach.
Current Job: Indianapolis Colts quarterback coach.
Ron Cooper, Eastern Michigan/Louisville
Tenure: 1993-94 at EMU/1995-97 at Louisville. Record: 9-13 at EMU/13-20 at Louisville.
Previous Jobs: Notre Dame secondary coach/EMU coach.
Current Job: South Carolina secondary coach.
Ron Dickerson, Temple
Tenure: 1993-97. Record: 8-47.
Previous Job: Penn State secondary coach.
Current Job: Alabama State athletic director.
Karl Dorrell, UCLA
Tenure: 2003-07. Record: 35-27 (1-3 in bowls).
Previous Job: Denver Broncos wide receiver coach.
Current Job: Miami Dolphins wide receiver coach.
Dennis Green, Northwestern/Stanford
Tenure: 1981-85 at Northwestern/1989-91 at Stanford Record: 10-45 at Northwestern/16-18 at Stanford (0-1 in bowls)
Previous Jobs: Stanford offensive coordinator/San Francisco 49ers wide receivers coach.
Current Job: NFL broadcaster.
Fitz Hill, San Jose State
Tenure: 2001-04. Record: 14-33.
Previous Job: Arkansas wide receivers coach.
Current Job: President of Arkansas Baptist College.
Willie Jeffries, Wichita State
Tenure: 1979-83. Record: 21-32-2.
Previous Job: South Carolina State coach.
Current Job: Retired.
Wayne Nunnely, UNLV
Tenure: 1986-89. Record: 19-25.
Previous Job: UNLV running backs coach.
Current Job: San Diego Chargers defensive line coach.
Francis Peay, Northwestern
Tenure: 1986-91. Record: 13-51-2.
Previous Job: Northwestern defensive coordinator.
Current Job: Retired.
Tony Samuel, New Mexico State
Tenure: 1997-2004. Record: 34-57.
Previous Job: Nebraska outside linebackers/rush ends coach.
Current Job: Southeast Missouri State coach.
Bob Simmons, Oklahoma State
Tenure: 1995-2000. Record: 30-38 (0-1 in bowls).
Previous Job: Colorado defensive line coach.
Current Job: Out of coaching.
Matt Simon, North Texas
Tenure: 1994-97. Record: 18-26-1.
Previous Job: New Mexico offensive coordinator.
Current Job: San Diego Chargers running backs coach.
Bobby Williams, Michigan State
Tenure: 1999-2002. Record: 16-17 (2-0 in bowls).
Previous Job: Michigan State running backs coach.
Current Job: Alabama tight ends/special teams coach.
Tyrone Willingham, Stanford/Notre Dame
Tenure: 1995-2001 at Stanford/2002-04 at Notre Dame. Record: 44-36-1 at Stanford (1-3 in bowls)/21-15 at Notre Dame (0-1 in bowls).
Previous Jobs: Minnesota Vikings running backs coach/Stanford coach.
Current Job: Washington coach.

MORE: Sumlin believes he can win big at Houston

Tom Dienhart is a national senior writer for He can be reached at is your source for: College Football | Football Recruiting | College Basketball | Basketball Recruiting | College Baseball | High School | College Merchandise
Site-specific editorial/photos Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved. This website is an officially and independently operated source of news and information not affiliated with any school or team.
About | Advertise with Us | Contact | Privacy Policy | About our Ads | Terms of Service | Copyright/IP policy | Yahoo! Sports - NBC Sports Network

Statistical information 2007 STATS LLC All Rights Reserved.