Tyrone Willingham retired back in 2008, yet he has seen just a few Black men receive the kind of elite opportunity he got when he was hired as Notre Dame’s first Black head football coach more than two decades ago.
He was encouraged when Michigan hired Sherrone Moore to replace Jim Harbaugh.
Black head coaches at the Division I level often have been given jobs at struggling programs with limited resources and thus smaller chance of long-term success. Moore, however, is taking the reins at a blue-blood program that just won a national title.
Willingham, 70, said the topic of Black coaches’ previous lack of access to head coaching jobs at top programs has not just been a Black issue, it has been symbolic of a foundational American issue. In an email interview, he said he was glad to see Black men finally being considered rising stars in line for the best jobs. He sees Moore’s hire as similar to Notre Dame hiring Marcus Freeman — the school’s second Black head football coach — in 2021.
“Let us be about hiring the best, and that attitude will serve our country well in all aspects of our society,” wrote Willingham, who also coached at Stanford and Washington. “I believe Sherrone Moore and Marcus Freeman meet that standard, and if given the correct resources, they will do very well. They are excellent leaders of young men and university communities.”
Moore is well aware of how special his opportunity is.
“It’s an honor,” Moore said. “It’s a privilege. It’s something I don’t take lightly. For all the African American men who have worked, I just want to show them that you can do it.”
Michigan’s hire came as the NFL added three Black head coaches — Atlanta’s Raheem Morris, New England’s Jerod Mayo and Las Vegas’ Antonio Pierce — this cycle. There will be at least nine minority head…
Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/moores-hire-michigan-gives-advocates-041535110.html
Author : NBC Sports
Publish date : 2024-02-10 04:15:35
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