Stanford’s athletic diversity is unmatched by top schools

Kenneth J. Cooper | 2/14/2014, 6 a.m.

Green, an assistant to Walsh at the 49ers in 1979 and 1986, was hired in 1989.

“When Bill left the 49ers, he made sure that Denny Green got a shot at that Stanford job,” Edwards said.

Stanford hired Willingham in 1995, without any head coaching experience. Five years later, he took the team to the Rose Bowl — a post-season berth Walsh never achieved.

In 2011, Shaw became coach after four years as offensive coordinator. He has led the team to the Rose Bowl two years in a row.

During the 2012 season, there were 120 head coaches whose teams were eligible to play in post-season bowl games. Fifteen of those coaches were African American, two were Asian and one Latino, according to Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida. The institute was previously based at Northeastern University.

The number of black football coaches at top schools has grown slowly since the 1980s. Only about 40 African Americans have ever held the job at a top, traditionally white college. So Stanford’s record of hiring three stands out.

At least eight traditionally white universities have had two black football coaches: Eastern Michigan, Louisville, Miami of Ohio, Michigan State, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Northwestern and UCLA.

Besides Stanford, at least a half-dozen universities have had black football and basketball coaches simultaneously: Alabama-Birmingham, Buffalo, Eastern Michigan, New Mexico State, Washington and Temple.

“Stanford’s hiring practices have consistently shown that they are after the best coach available,” said Richard Lapchick, director the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports. “Their record is remarkable and should be the standard for all schools.”