Watchdog group troubled by lack of minority hirings among NFL coaching openings

Six of the eight NFL coaching vacancies have been filled.

Of those six hires, none of them involved minority coaching candidates.

That’s raised flags with many around the league, including the Fritz-Pollard Alliance, a respected watchdog group that works with the NFL to promote minority coaching candidates.

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Fritz-Pollard Alliance ‘surprised’ by NFL coaching hirings

Chairman John Wooten spoke with the Miami Herald on Thursday as the Dolphins, along with the Cincinnati Bengals, still have a coaching vacancy. 

He said that he doesn’t believe the lack of minority hires puts pressure on the Dolphins to do so, but that he’s concerned that none of the six vacancies have been filled by a minority candidate.

“The thing we’re looking at — I’ll be very open and frank with you — I’m very much surprised at some of the hirings that have been done so far,” Wooten told the Herald. “Like anything else, different people like different things, so that’s what you have to deal with.”

A watchdog group points to Patriots assistant Brian Flores as a candidate qualified to have taken the Jets job who could end up in Miami. (Getty)
A watchdog group points to Patriots assistant Brian Flores as a candidate qualified to have taken the Jets job who could end up in Miami. (Getty)

Watchdog group calls out Kliff Kingsbury hiring

Like many, Wooten pointed directly to the Cardinals hiring of Kliff Kingsbury, a young offensive-minded coach with no NFL experience who was recently fired from his alma mater Texas Tech after posting a 35-40 record over six seasons.

“Let me put it to you this way,” Wooten said. “We thought there would be probably four [minority] possibilities particular teams would go for. The surprise, if you could call it that, was the Arizona hiring. That was a little bit surprising.

“I think what they were trying to do was, everybody wants the quarterback whisperer, right? There’s a lot of talk about the new offenses and so forth even though these offenses are not new in this league.”

Group points to Brian Flores as good candidate

He also expressed surprise at the Jets hiring former Dolphins coach Adam Gase, pointing to New England Patriots linebackers coach and defensive coordinator Brian Flores as a strong minority candidate with AFC East familiarity.

Flores remains a candidate in Miami, according to The Herald. Wooten points to Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and Dallas Cowboys defensive backs coach Kris Richard as other strong minority candidates.

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