Temple’s football staff has the most black coaches in Division I-A, according to a recent survey conducted by Temple’s Department of Sports Media Relations.
Outside safeties coach Spencer Prescott, offensive coordinator Willie Slater, running backs coach Blair Thomas, defensive line coach Phil Zacharias and two graduate assistants, Marcus Hoover on offense, and Jonas Jackson on defense, make up the group of six black coaches on coach Bobby Wallace’s staff. According to a 2003-2004 NCAA study, 27.4 percent of all Division I-A football coaches were black. But there were only three black head coaches in Division I-A football in 2004.
“In football, we’re way behind,” Prescott said of the head coaching ranks.
Although the number of black assistant coaches rose 5.9 percent between 1995 and 2004, it is still not easy to find a job as a black coach, Prescott said.
According to the study, blacks made up 52.4 percent of players in Division I revenue sports (football and men’s and women’s basketball). Some feel the increase in diversity among players has contributed to more diversity when universities hire coaches.
“Staffs at this level are getting more and more diverse,” said wide receivers coach Dennis Goldman, a coach at the high school and college level since 1971.
On the field, diversity is “not something we notice,” Jackson said.
The coaches and players share football as a common focus. With all the time spent practicing and preparing for games, coaches and players at nearly every institution, regardless of race, form close-knit relationships.
“The coaching staff is like your extended family,” Goldman said. “[The players and coaches] have a father-son relationship.”
Roslyn Jackson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.