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Success also is becoming more visible at the college level. In 2009, three minority coaches led teams to bowl games. Last year, a record seven minority coaches took teams to bowl games, and three coaches of color made the FCS playoffs.
"It is refreshing to have an opportunity to acknowledge success," Keith wrote in the report. "I believe it is one of the most shining examples of positive change on the landscape of intercollegiate sport in recent times as it pertains to diversity and inclusion efforts."
The progress isn't just showing up at non-BCS schools, as it has previously, either.
Two years ago, there were no black coaches in four of the BCS conferences. Five of the six leagues now have at least one black coach and three conferences -- the ACC, Pac-12 and SEC -- have two black coaches. The Big Ten is the only conference with no coaches of color in football, a sport that has lagged behind men's and women's basketball in minority hiring.
And though the percentage of A grades in Division I for the 2010-11 cycle declined slightly from 59 percent in 2009-10 report to 55 percent, that didn't detract from the overall results.
"The NCAA Division I presidents, chancellors and athletic directors who provide institutional feedback regarding their respective search processes are to be commended," wrote BCA president Danielle O'Banion, associate head coach of the Memphis women's basketball team. "Their participation reflects a commitment to growing opportunities for all student-athletes and professionals in intercollegiate athletics"
Keith says more work still needs to be done and points specifically to the FCS where only nine minority coaches are employed at the 120 non-HBCU schools.
"I think the next step for us is to continue doing what we're doing because it's working," Keith said.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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