Striking out

Black coaches find closed doors in the college ranks

African American players may dominate college football fields and basketball courts, but behind the scenes it’s a different story. According to a study by Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society, minorities are vastly underrepresented in college coaching and upper management ranks.

During the 1995-96 season, only 4.2% of the 7,101 head coaching positions in men’s sports were held by African Americans. Worse yet, black women coached only 1.5% of the 6,881 college women’s teams. In contrast, at the NCAA Division I level, 63% of basketball players, 52% of football players and 6.9% of baseball players were black males.

Of the three major college sports, basketball has the highest percentage of black head coaches, 11.3%, vs. 2.7% for football and 0.8% for baseball. Moving further into the managerial ranks, only 8.6% of athletic directors, the top management spot on the college level, were people of color. As the report concludes, the diversity in the playing fields needs to be extended to decision-making positions.

Source: Race Demographics of NCAA Member Institutions’ Athletics Personnel, National Collegiate Athletics Association, Overland Park, Kansas, 1998

Percentage of Black Administrators at NCAA Member Institutions

1995-96

1997-98

Change

Director of athletics

7.5%

6.9%

-0.006

Associate director of athletics

8.2

6.8

-1.4

Assistant director of athletics

8.5

8.9

0.4

Senior woman administrator

9.1

9.1

Academic advisor

20

24.8

3.9

Overall*

8.4

8.5

0.1

NOTE: Figures do not include historically black colleges and universities

*All athletics administrators, including graduate assistants and interns.

Percentage of Black Head Coaches at NCAA Member Institutions

1995-96

1997-98

Change

Men’s teams

7.6%

7.8%

+0.2%

Women’s teams

7.5

7.3

-0.2

Men’s revenue sports*

12.7

13.0

+0.3

Women’s revenue sports**

12.2

10.6

-1.6

NOTE: Figures do not include historically black colleges and universities

*Football and basketball.

**Basketball.

ACROSS THE WEB