Another NFL coaching cycle has come and gone, and the numbers in terms of Black head coaches don’t get much better. The league has
Yet there was only one new Black head coach hired and one Arab American/Muslim out of seven openings. The case of Kansas City offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy continues to baffle. His team is in its second straight Super Bowl, he’s had multiple interviews, but he’s yet to land a head job. The rumor persists that he has not interviewed well, whatever that means. There are also some who feel he prefers to wait till Andy Reid retires at Kansas City. However Reid at 62 has made no public indications or statements he’s leaning towards or considering retirement.
The new Black head coach at Houston is veteran coach David Culley. After 43 years in the profession and 27 in the NFL, he takes over a job that’s got lots of problems. The team’s best offensive (QB Deshaun Watson) and defensive players (defensive lineman JJ Watt) both want out. Watson has demanded a trade despite signing a four-year, 156 million dollar extension last year. Watt is sick of their losing ways. Whether Culley can rescue either situation remains questionable.
But his coaching pedigree is very impressive. He’s been on 10 division winners, 17 playoff teams and six that reached the conference championship game. He also had a 16-yearn college coaching run. Culley doesn’t want anyone viewing him as a token or minority hire made to appease the criticism the league has previously received.
“I don’t feel like I’m the head coach because I’m a minority,” he told the Houston Chronicle upon being named the Texans’ newest coach. “What it means is that David Culley was the best hire for this job for this family, for this franchise who just happens to be African American.”
“That’s how I look at it. That’s how I look at the league,” Culley continued. “Do we need to have that happen more? Yes, and it’s happening. I feel like, again that’s not why I’m here. I’m here simply because they felt like I’m the best fit for this organization and for all you’ve been reading about with minority hires, I think the league is doing a great job.”
While others would debate that assessment of the NFL’s track record, everyone is rooting for David Culley to succeed.