Scottie Montgomery

According to a FootballScoop study of coaching movement figures, of the 29 black head coaches to change jobs since the end of the 2000 season, only five have been immediately replaced by another black coach.

Despite that grim statistic, there is reason for optimism.

Four of the changes have come within the past three years, and two of them occurred this year. Last week, Bowling Green replaced Dino Babers with Texas Tech assistant head coach Mike Jinks, and over the weekend East Carolina replaced Ruffin McNeill with Duke offensive coordinator Scottie Montgomery.

The two prior changes came after the 2013 season, when Vanderbilt followed James Franklin with Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason, and after the 2012 season, when Kent State replaced Darrell Hazell with Arkansas defensive coordinator Paul Haynes.

Prior to that, the last instance of an FBS program hiring consecutive black head coaches goes back at least a dozen years — if not longer.

A full listing of black head coaches followed by a black coach:

Cycle School Original Coach Replacement
2015-16 Bowling Green Dino Babers Mike Jinks
2015-16 East Carolina Ruffin McNeill Scottie Montgomery
2013-14 Vanderbilt James Franklin Derek Mason
2012-13 Kent State Darrell Hazell Paul Haynes
2010-11 Miami (Ohio) Mike Haywood Don Treadwell

And the list of black coaches replaced by white coaches:

Cycle School Original Coach Replacement
2015-16 Tulane Curtis Johnson Willie Fritz
2015-16 Virginia Mike London Bronco Mendenhall
2013-14 Eastern Michigan Ron English Chris Creighton
2013-14 Louisville Charlie Strong Bobby Petrino
2013-14 UAB Garrick McGee Bill Clark
2012-13 Colorado Jon Embree Mike MacIntyre
2012-13 Kentucky Joker Phillips Mark Stoops
2012-13 New Mexico State DeWayne Walker Doug Martin
2012-13 Western Kentucky Willie Taggart Bobby Petrino
2011-12 Houston Kevin Sumlin Tony Levine
2011-12 Kansas Turner Gill Charlie Weis
2011-12 Memphis Larry Porter Justin Fuente
2011-12 New Mexico Mike Locksley Bob Davie
2010-11 Miami Randy Shannon Al Golden
2009-10 Buffalo Turner Gill Jeff Quinn
2008-09 Kansas State Ron Prince Bill Snyder
2008-09 Mississippi State Sylvester Croom Dan Mullen
2008-09 Washington Tyrone Willingham Steve Sarkisian
2007-08 UCLA Karl Dorrell Rick Neuheisel
2004-05 New Mexico State Tony Samuel Hal Mumme
2004-05 Notre Dame Tyrone Willingham Charlie Weis
2002-03 Michigan State Bobby Williams John L. Smith
2001-02 Stanford Tyrone Willingham Buddy Teevens
2000-01 Oklahoma State Bob Simmons Les Miles

Crucially, East Carolina’s hiring of Montgomery remains the only instance of an FBS program hiring a black coach immediately after firing a black coach, stretching back as far as our research could go.

The numbers of black head coaches in college football has drawn a lot of ink of late, but this is a plague without a known antidote. Programs make changes for a number of reasons, and each athletics director has a silhouette of a specific candidate in mind that his or her campus needs at that specific time.

Without a top-down infrastructure like the NFL, it’s much harder to affect change through policy in college football.

As with a number of societal ills, raising the frequency of hiring black coaches is a problem that can only be tackled through awareness, a consistent effort to keep the issue top-of-mind for athletics directors, presidents, commissioners, agents and search firms.

With but two jobs open in FBS at this time (BYU and Georgia Southern), the number of black coaches remained stagnant at 12 among 128 available jobs from the same point in 2014. Though the instances of programs hiring consecutive black coaches has risen in recent years (or, perhaps more accurately, has come into existence), the overall hiring practices of minority coaches is an issue that will continue to be an issue within college football for years to come.