David Shaw, Charlie Strong and Kevin Sumlin aren't the first black coaches to win a bowl game, but the manner in which they did so this season will make other schools give greater consideration to hiring a black coach.
Stanford’s Shaw and Louisville’s Strong won BCS bowl games, while Texas A&M’s Sumlin may have had the most impressive bowl victory of the season, last night.
Sumlin has got it going at A&M. He won at 'Bama in his first season in the SEC, has a Heisman winner in Johnny Manziel, who’s running that spread offense to near perfection. The Aggies just mashed Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl, 41-13.
Strong knocked off an SEC power in the Sugar Bowl, pulling off one of the biggest upsets in BCS bowl history in leading Louisville past the No. 3-ranked Gators. And, truth be told, the game that could have been even more lopsided than the final 33-23 score.
Shaw won this season with defense and changing starting quarterbacks during the season. The Cardinal should have won at Notre Dame, later knocked Oregon out of the national title picture and just bullied Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl, 20-14.
Look at the Kent State situation. Darrell Hazell did his thing at Kent State before getting hired at Purdue. The Golden Flashes were in contention play in a BCS bowl before falling to Northern Illinois in the MAC title game. And he's been replaced by another black coach, Paul Haynes, who was an assistant at Arkansas and Ohio State. Kent State is playing Arkansas State in the GoDaddy.com Bowl on Sunday.
Seeing this type of success makes athletic directors, board of trustees members and school presidents take a closer look at hiring a black coach; but black coaches have to win those big games on a consistent basis to increase interest.
Sumlin, with Johnny Football, will be in a position to win the national title next year. Shaw should make a run at it in 2013, too. If one of those two get in that BCS title game next year, that will turn even more heads.