Bryan Brown is an outlier, not the norm, as the defensive coordinator for Louisville football.
Less than 20 defensive coordinators of 130 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) are African-American. Although a predominant amount of Power Five conferences’ rosters are comprised of African-American student athletes, the leadership roles in college football have yet to be equally dispersed.
Brown acknowledges the importance of being a minority coach in college football for student athletes because they are able to see people of color in leadership roles.
“It’s important for those guys to be able to see people of color, the same color as them, to be able to be in a leadership role to where they know at some point ‘if I want to be a defensive coordinator or a Fortune 500 company CEO, I can do that,’” Brown said.
Brown thinks student athletes have doubts about attaining certain positions that are predominantly filled by white coaches.
Syracuse’s Dino Babers is the only African American head coach in the ACC, a 14-team league. According to the Associated Press, there are 13 African-American head coaches at FBS schools.
“It is really important for us to have African Americans in leadership roles whether it is a coordinator, head coaches, GMs, whatever the case maybe, it must be that,” Brown said. “The things that are going on right now, I think we will see a little bit more of that. Some many guys are deserving of it, but they don’t get that opportunity.”
Ron Cooper was the first black head coach in Louisville program history, leading the team from 1995-97. Charlie Strong directed the program for four seasons from 2010-2013 as Louisville's second minority head coach.