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Are We Being 'Hoodwinked and Bamboozled' Watching Recent HBCU Head Coach Searches?

The recent "HBCU Football Head Coach Searches" are bewildering, but has given us plenty to think about for the future.
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HOUSTON - In Houston, we have a problem. Texas Southern University's head football coach search may be coming to a close. However, the nation cringed at the "false starts" which penalized them from naming a new coach.

"We've been hoodwinked, bamboozled, led astray, and run amok," HBCU football fans, alums, and observers think. Why? Many supporters of HBCU football are concerned about the recent outbreak of head coaching vacancies and, more importantly, how the coaching searches have been managed or mismanaged.

HBCU Legends conducted a poll on 85.1% of the respondents believe the Athletic Directors, Presidents, and Boards are responsible for "fumbling the football" on the searches. 13.8% noted it's the Search Committee's fault, and 1.1% think the coaches are the problem.

During this offseason, eleven created openings and one retirement have become available for head coaches -- twelve overall.  Meanwhile, the situations at South Carolina State, Benedict, Allen, Clark Atlanta, Alcorn State, and Florida A&M differed in how the administrators and decision-makers handled the search processes.

  1. St. Augustine's
  2. Southern University
  3. Grambling State
  4. Morehouse College
  5. Texas Southern
  6. Alcorn State
  7. South Carolina State
  8. Lincoln University (Missouri)
  9. Benedict College
  10. Florida A&M
  11. Clark Atlanta University
  12. Allen

Here's what we know:

  • South Carolina State's Oliver "Buddy" Pough announced his retirement at the beginning of the season. He was masterful in recruiting Chennis Berry to remain in South Carolina, moving from Columbia to Orangeburg. Berry officially has taken over as the head football coach for the Bulldogs.
  • Benedict College lost Chennis Berry and is undergoing a search for a new leader.
  • Allen University's head coach, Teddy Keaton, accepts the Clark Atlanta position. Allen agrees on a contract with new head coach Cedric Pearl.
  • Southern University dismisses Eric Dooley. Athletic Director Banks fills the vacancy with interim head coach Terrence Graves.,
  • Texas Southern University decides not to renew the contract of head coach Clarence McKinney. The Board of Regents has reportedly rejected the contract of the proposed candidate from the search committee. VP of Athletics, Dr. Kevin Granger, is interviewing additional candidates.
  • The Alcorn State compromise with longtime head coach Fred McNair fell through after the rumblings he was on Texas Southern's radar to be hired. The Braves administration swiftly installed defensive coordinator Cedric Thomas as the team's new head coach.
  • Florida A&M's 2023 Celebration Bowl and HBCU Football Division I National Championship head coach Willie Simmons resigns to accept the running backs coach position at Duke University. The vacancy exists without a new head coach.
  • St. Augustine's dismisses head coach Howard Feggins. He currently has a lawsuit against the institution. No one has filled his role.
  • Morehouse terminates Gerald Wilcher's contract after a 1-9 first season. My alma mater has had great turmoil surrounding the position, which remains open. Several coaches have contacted HBCU Legends and expressed interest in the position. However, AD Harold Ellis has yet to locate a new coach.
  • Lincoln is still open.

Numerous supporters, alumni, and critics are blaming, feeling dejected, sharing their grievances on social media, and discussing the shortcomings of the hiring process in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

Certain programs have effective and determined leaders, while others need to develop their expertise in their athletic departments. In some cases, the process is burdened by excessive committees and individuals who want to be involved in selecting coaching candidates.

However, the HBCU football offseason has been quite eventful so far, leading up to the start of HBCU basketball conference games. Various choices and personal circumstances might alter, and we aim to gain insight from these experiences. I remain optimistic. Do you share the same sentiment?

We shall see.