Mike Tomlin Joins Board of New Football Nonprofit


Getty Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin during a game last season.

Yesterday University of Maryland head coach Michael Locksley announced the founding of the National Coalition of Minority Football Coaches. Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has agreed to join the Board of Directors.

According to NFL.com columnist Jim Trotter, the new nonprofit organization “will seek to not only identify and groom coaches of color (male and female) for upward mobility, but also create a candidates list that will be vetted by a board of directors that includes some of the most respected and powerful names in sport.”

Locksley, who is 50, was inspired to start the National Coalition of Minority Football Coaches (NCMFC) as a result of his frustration with the slow pace of minority hiring in both college and professional football.

In a phone interview with Trotter, Locksley said, “I’m on the back nine of my career and the pathway to becoming a head coach is still as difficult as when I got into the business in 1992. I wanted to create an organization that would be able to help prepare, promote and produce the next group of coaches coming up through the ranks at every level.”

Trotter notes that there are only three Black head coaches among the NFL’s 32 teams, and only 14 among the 130 Football Bowl Subdivision teams.

The NCMFC’s Board of Directors

In addition to Mike Tomlin, the NCMFC’s Board also includes:

Ozzie Newsome, the first Black general manager in the NFL, who led the Baltimore Ravens to two Super Bowl titles; Nick Saban, head coach at the University of Alabama and a six-time national champion; Bill Polian, a Pro Football Hall of Fame general manager whose teams participated in five Super Bowls; and Chris Grier, general manager of the Miami Dolphins.

Other founding members include: Former NFL quarterback Doug Williams, who was MVP of Super Bowl XXII and now serves as a Washington Football Team executive; Oliver Pough, head coach at South Carolina State; and Rick Smith, former general manager of the Houston Texans.

“We want to use their experiences to help us formulate and produce the list of qualified candidates, so when people say there aren’t enough minorities to fill the positions that have come open over the years, we’re going to produce a list of qualified people that shows there are qualified people,” Locksley told Trotter. “What’s needed is opportunities.”

Mike Tomlin and Michael Locksley

Mike Tomlin and Michael Locksley are already well-acquainted as Tomlin’s son Dino plays on Locksley’s team.

In addition, the Steelers drafted not one but two Maryland Terps in the 2020 NFL Draft, adding running back Anthony McFarland Jr. in the fourth round and safety Antoine Brooks Jr. in the sixth round.

In 2019 the Steelers selected offensive tackle Derwin Gray in the seventh round of the draft.

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