A FootballScoop study of staff make-up among NFL and Football Bowl Subdivision coaching staffs found that only five of the 160 - 3.1 percent - offensive line coaches are black.
Among the 32 NFL franchises, only the Arizona Cardinals (Harold Goodwin) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (George Warhop) employed black offensive line coaches, equating to 6.25 percent of the league.
The numbers were actually worse among the highest level of the college ranks. Of the 65 programs in Power Five conferences - the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC, plus Notre Dame - only one employs a black offensive line coach, UCLA's Adrian Klemm. Klemm, by the way, is regarded as one of the very best (and most highly-paid) offensive line coaches and recruiters in college football.
Of the remaining 63 FBS schools, only East Carolina (Brandon Jones) and Georgia Southern (Alex Atkins) have black offensive line coaches.
Overall, 2.3 percent of FBS programs utilized black offensive line coaches, a figure well below any other position on a traditional coaching staff. For instance, minorities accounted for more than 50 percent of running backs, defensive line and wide receivers coaching spots in FBS.
The 2.3 percent figure among offensive line coaches is also far from a representative sample among the players those offensive line coaches are charged with instructing. A University of Central Florida Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport study found that African-Americans accounted for 51.6 percent of FBS players in 2012, the largest of any ethnic group. Whites made up 43.3 percent of FBS rosters; no other ethnic group accounted for more than 2.1 percent of the total.
FootballScoop spoke with East Carolina head coach Ruffin McNeill about this study. McNeill said he "was in disbelief" when we told him that only three FBS programs employed black offensive line coaches, stating that he would have guessed the number would have been "10-15 at least". We asked McNeill, and other FBS coaches, and no one seemed to have an answer or reason as to why there are so few black offensive line coaches.
While a position-specific racial data was not available, most teams have a black/white split somewhere around 50-50 along the offensive line. The figure can swing one way or the other from team to team, but in general the split is pretty even. For instance, of the 15 offensive linemen to earn AP All-America honors in 2013, seven were black and seven were white (UCLA's Xavier Su'a-Filo is Polynesian).
However, it does not take a university commissioned study to know that the number of offensive line coaches at football's highest level is far from a match of the players that play offensive line, and not nearly as diverse as position coaching jobs elsewhere in football.