Opportunities Still Limited for HBCU Coaches Despite Deion Sanders’ Success

A year ago, Deion Sanders left Jackson State’s sideline, drawing attention to HBCU football. But opportunities for proven coaches are still limited. The last time a head coach was taken from the HBCU ranks was in 2016. Before that, the only instance was in 1979. While Sanders is successful at Colorado, most HBCU coaches remain invisible during the coaching carousel season. Coaches from other programs have moved to higher-level positions, but not many HBCU coaches have had the same opportunities.
John Grant, the executive director of the Celebration Bowl, praised Sanders but lamented the lack of opportunities for other HBCU coaches. History says that the neglect of HBCU coaches hasn’t changed much as most have not received opportunities at higher-level coaching positions.
Willie Simmons, FAMU’s nominee for FCS Coach of the Year, is an example. Despite his success, he has not been offered any FBS positions. Opportunities for HBCU coaches to move to PWI head coaching positions are limited. For Black HBCU coaches like Chennis Berry, opportunities to move to Power 4 jobs are merely hypothetical.