Here's a rare gem from the Indy Star: a nice piece on an outstanding assistant coach, Gene Huey.
Gene Huey is a black man. He's coached as an assistant for 15 years. He has a resume most coaches would kill for. Yet, he's never been offered a coordinator job, let alone a head coaching position. I've long held that the NFL is a racist institution when it comes to hiring minority head coaches. It took years for Tony Dungy to get a head coaching job after all his success coaching defense in Kansas City and Minnesota, and the job he got was one nobody wanted: the Tampa Bay Bucs. Dungy turned the whole franchise around in two years, before he was fired by the two of the worst owners in football: The Glazer brothers.
It took years for Marvin Lewis to get a head coaching job after all his masterful defensive work in Baltimore and with Washington. In fact, he was offered the head coaching job in Tampa Bay after Dungy was fired, only to have the before mentioned two worst owners in football, the Glazer brothers, undercut then-GM Rich McKay and pull back the offer. The Glazers would later trade with Oakland for the rights to coach Jon Gruden, who won a Super Bowl with Tony Dungy's team, and since then has only been back to the playoffs once and not won a playoff game.
Back in 2002, Detroit GM Matt Millen only interviewed Steve Mariucci, a white coach, for Detroit's head coaching vacancy. Millen and the Lions were fined by the NFL for not adhering to their minority interviewing policy, called the Rooney Plan, which requires teams to interview at least one minority candidate. The ignorant pundit press pitched a fit, saying Millen was treated unfairly. Most of the NFL fan base was not happy about this, as evidenced by this wonderfully insightful gem from a message board user (who is evidently missing a few chromosomes) on About.com:
An assistant like Gene Huey, for instance.
All Gene Huey has done is make stars out of runningbacks like Marshall Faulk and Edgerrin James. Both backs will tell you to your face that Huey is one of the reasons they are both Hall of Fame bound. When star backs like Faulk or James have been hurt, Huey takes unknown players like Lamont Warren, Dominic Rhodes, James Mungro, or Zack Crockett and turns them into quality backs.
Huey, at the very least, should be someone's offensive coordinator. While morons like Brian Billick, Dick Jauron, and Jack Del Rio (all white by the way) still roam NFL sidelines and make mega millions, great assistants like Huey still wait for their chance.