The 2018 NFL season was a historic one for minority coaches, as eight of the league’s 32 teams were led by minority coaches, which tied for the most the league had ever had.
However, the 2018-19 NFL coaching change cycle brought some changes to those ranks. Eight head coaches were fired during this last coaching change cycle, and five of those were minority coaches, including longtime Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, and Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks, who was given just one year with the team before having the plug pulled. Of the guys hired to replace those eight openings, only one (Brian Flores of the Dolphins), was a minority coach.
It’s an issue that gets talked about a lot during the course of an NFL off season, but many feel not enough is being done to change it.
In a recent sit down with Sam Wyche, Saints head coach Sean Payton shared that he believes there is definitely a diversity problem in NFL head coaching hires.
“I think we have a diversity problem, and this year, and what took place, hit us square in the face and I think that not a lot was written or discussed about it. There are a handful of coaches, that I know, if I was a GM, who I would be interested in hiring.”
Payton also shared an interesting take on the recent trend of teams trying to hire guys in the mold of the next Sean McVay, noting how he looks forward to seeing them on the Saints schedule.
“I feel like I have four or five guys on my staff that are going to become head coaches at some point. The thing that can be disappointing is when you talk to someone, and they give you the profile [of what they’re looking for], and then I’ll say, ‘Well you’re not interested in a young Bill Belichick or a young Tony Dungy?’ They get so pigeon-holed, and this is so cyclical.”
“I see a lot of mistakes made in that process. I feel like, being this long in, we’re excited to play those teams.”
See Paytons full candid thoughts in the clip.
I asked @Saints Coach Sean Payton about the trend of teams hiring young, offensive-minded head coaches. He delivered a strong, honest response, capped by him saying some teams are making mistakes and the Saints can’t wait to play them. This is damn good. 🔥🔥🔥@nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/AOiAsLCXeO
— Steve Wyche (@wyche89) March 28, 2019