Posted under: Sports Opinion Sports Opinion

Another black coach bites the dust

There's more firings to come but no obvious new talent to fill the void

Photo: Getty Images via The Shadow League

Charlie Strong ran a quick three and out with the Texas Longhorns.

One day after a 31-9 loss to TCU capped another losing season in Austin, the Longhorns opted Saturday to ax Strong, who was 16-21 in three years at the university.

Whether or not he deserved another shot can be debated until the cows come home. The impact of his hiring as the first African-American football coach at the University of Texas was significant, but didn’t result in wins.  

The positive impact he had on his football players, who supported him until the end, but never performed to the level that a demanding family of fans, boosters, faculty, alumni and media projected for his tenure, will unfortunately be a smaller footnote in his legacy at Texas.  

Strong leaves Texas with the worst winning percentage all-time by a head coach at the school. The last person to coach for three seasons or less at Texas was Jack Chevigny from 1934 to 1936, the only other coach with a losing record for the Longhorns.

Texas (5-7) again failed to clinch a bowl bid in 2016, instead finishing with its third seven-loss season under Strong, who was 12-15 in Big 12 play.

Strong insisted that he left the program in solid shape and they were poised for a breakthrough.

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Photo: Getty Images via The Shadow League

"The foundation has been laid here," Strong said. "The thing is, we've been building it for three years. Even when I looked at it, I said the third year we'll make progress, the fourth year will be our year. It's just like baking a cake. The cake has been baked. The only thing you need to do now is put the icing on it and slice it."

Charlie Hustle will never get to put the icing on, cut it or experience the sweet taste of victory.

Strong was another African-American coach who fell victim to the quick hook, making some wonder if the opportunity he was awarded was more politically motivated and framed for reality show perfection than a shining moment for diversity and inclusion in the white-dominated college coaching ranks.

Numbers Still Don't Add Up

Although Blacks were 53.4 percent of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) players going into the 2015-16 football season, only (10.2 percent) of the head coaches were African Americans, according to The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of South Florida.

To make matters worse, says seattlemedium.com, "Black and White coaches with similar records often face starkly different futures."

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