Maryland’s Michael Locksley, one of 14 Black head coaches in the 130-team Football Bowl Subdivision, has founded a nonprofit organization that aims to help minority football coaches advance and develop at all levels. The National Coalition of Minority Football Coaches, established in June and publicly unveiled Thursday, will offer its member coaches professional development opportunities while serving as a resource for teams looking for qualified candidates.

The organization has an experienced board of directors, including former Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome, Alabama Coach Nick Saban, Pittsburgh Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin, Miami Dolphins GM Chris Grier and Doug Williams, the Super Bowl-winning quarterback who’s now an executive for the Washington Football Team. Locksley, the Terrapins’ second-year head coach, is the organization’s president.

“I have dedicated the better part of my 25-year coaching career to leveling the playing field for minority coaches everywhere,” Locksley said in a statement. “I worked hard to create opportunities in my career, sometimes with assistance from others, but more often through my own perseverance. I have learned many things. I have benefited from those who have gone before me so I feel a sense of obligation to help others.”

Male and female coaches from recreational leagues, high schools, colleges and the NFL can join the coalition. The organization’s “specialized coaching curriculum will prepare, promote and produce the next generation of career coaches and football operations professionals," the website says.

There are three Black head coaches in the NFL — Tomlin, the Miami Dolphins’ Brian Flores and the Los Angeles Chargers’ Anthony Lynn. According to NCAA data from last year, 49 percent of all Division I football players identified as Black, compared with only 15 percent of head coaches, 15 percent of offensive coordinators and 22 percent of defensive coordinators.

“The reasons for their exclusion is inextricably interwoven into the societal roadblocks that underrepresented individuals frequently face,” the organization’s website says. “These roadblocks create an unfortunate imbalance where minorities do not enjoy meaningful participation in available coaching opportunities.”

The group will use analytics to highlight the accomplishments and ability of minority coaches. The website indicates that the organization will hold events, including a convention, conferences, camps and a speaker series.

When Darryll J. Pines became Maryland’s president this summer, the university became the first FBS school to have a Black president, athletic director and head football coach. Damon Evans is Maryland’s athletic director, and Locksley hired Scottie Montgomery to be his offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, another job that lacks diversity in college football.

In June, Locksley took part in the Quarterback Coaching Summit, a two-day program that offers networking and development opportunities for minority coaches on the offensive side of the ball.

Locksley, a former defensive back at Towson, began his career as a defensive coach before moving to offense. He earned his first Power Five coaching job in 1997 when Maryland hired him to lead the running backs group. He became an offensive coordinator in 2005 at Illinois, then a head coach in 2009 at New Mexico.

Locksley had a tumultuous first tenure as a head coach, but he began rebuilding his career as Maryland’s offensive coordinator and then working under Saban at Alabama. Two years ago, Locksley returned to Maryland, a school about 10 miles from his childhood home in Southwest D.C., for what he described as "the one job that I always coveted.”

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