Rare DI Schools in Maryland and Temple with Top Black Leadership – CBS Baltimore

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Last year, Temple hired a new president, athletic director and football coach, all black men.

The moves have made Temple the second school to play major college football and have an African American in all three top-flight positions alongside Maryland.

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Temple is also the only school among 131 competing at the highest level of Division I to have blacks lead the varsity, athletic department, football program, and men’s and women’s basketball programs.

Temple’s decisions weren’t planned, but they were also more than a coincidence, said University President Jason Wingard.

“It was no more intentional than the other way around,” Wingard said, referring to the far more common occurrence in big collegiate sports of one white man hiring another white man.

Much like the NFL, major college football has struggled to address the shortage of black football coaches in a sport where the majority of players are black. According to the latest data compiled by the NCAA, 45% of football players at Power Five conferences during the 2020-21 season were Black and 37% were White. At the five other FBS conferences, 51% of players were black and 33% were white.

Only 10% of head coaches were black and 82% were white. Ten years ago, 14% of FBS head coaches were black. New Temple coach Stan Drayton is one of 15 black head coaches currently set to begin next season at 131 FBS schools.

When it comes to increasing those numbers, the focus is often on the pipeline leading to the head coach’s office and trying to raise the profile of black assistant coaches. Maryland coach Mike Locksley’s National Coalition of Minority Football Coaches is attempting this be leaders in these areas.

Equally important, Wingard said, is the trickle-down effect that results from greater diversity among those who ultimately make these appointments — the athletic directors and university presidents.

“I’m not calling you or anyone else racist, but we have experiences and we have prejudices based on those experiences. And so we all tend to work better with people who are like us and have shared those experiences,” said Wingard, who wrote one op-ed on the subject after former Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores sued the NFL and several teams for discrimination.

“So representation is important,” Wingard added, “because when you have a variety of people as college presidents, when you have women, when you have African Americans, when you have Latinos and Asian Americans, then their experiences are going to bring something — around them – differences.”

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Wingard became Temple’s first black president last June. In October, he filled Temple’s long-vacant AD position by hiring Arthur Johnson, whose sports administrator career spans 20 years and includes lengthy stints in Texas and Georgia.

“This business is about relationships,” Johnson said. “So who do people feel most comfortable with?”

Drayton, 51, is a first-time head coach after a long career as an assistant in the NFL and some of college football’s most well-known programs like Ohio State and Texas.

Drayton’s previous experience in the Philadelphia area as a collegiate coach early in his career went a long way in securing him the job, along with some strong endorsements from those he had previously worked with, Johnson said. He noted that the two did not work closely together in Texas.

Johnson is one of 19 black athletic directors at FBS schools. His longtime friend, Maryland AD Damon Evans, is one of the others.

Evans said advocacy plays a big role in hiring. Locksley’s coalition has attempted to foster professional relationships between aspiring black coaches and college sports administrators to attract more advocates. Evans said more black leaders should lead to more lobbying for black candidates.

“You tend to have more contact with, let’s face it, people who look like you or are of the same race, ethnicity or whatever you are. And also to be more aligned and more aware,” Evans said.

“We have to pay it up front,” he added.

Drayton said he’s proud to be part of a rare leadership group in collegiate sports. That it would be assembled at Temple, a metropolitan university in North Philadelphia that counts the late Hall of Famer men’s basketball coach John Chaney as one of its most influential figures seems appropriate.

“It is a very significant time here at Temple and it is a very significant action by the powers that be here at Temple to institute this type of leadership,” Drayton said. “And it makes sense.”

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(© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, transcribed, or redistributed.) Rare DI Schools in Maryland and Temple with Top Black Leadership – CBS Baltimore

Jake Nichol

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