Cardinals lead NFL in minority coaching hires while Cowboys, Jaguars lag

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 29: Offensive coordinator Vance Joseph of the Arizona Cardinals has a word with Tanner Vallejo #48 in the bench area during a game against the Denver Broncos during a preseason National Football League game at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on August 29, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO – AUGUST 29: Offensive coordinator Vance Joseph of the Arizona Cardinals has a word with Tanner Vallejo #48 in the bench area during a game against the Denver Broncos during a preseason National Football League game at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on August 29, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

The NFL’s 2003 “Rooney Rule” was supposed to help even the playing field for prospective NFL coaches of color by requiring teams to interview at least one minority candidate for vacant head coaching positions. After an initial surge in minority hires, which peaked in 2011, the 2019 and 2020 seasons have disappointed with teams hiring only one head coach of color each season.

Furthermore, it’s evident that the hiring disparity extends to other top positions in the league as well. The Global Sport Institute recently produced a working paper based on ten years of data on NFL head coach and offensive and defensive coordinator hires which concluded that, according to The Undefeated, “minorities still fare worse when it comes to hiring, retaining their positions and being granted ‘second chances’ at head positions.”

Calah Schlabach is a master of mass communication student at Arizona State University

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