With the firing of NFL head coaches Hue Jackson, Todd Bowles, Steve Wilkes, Marvin Lewis and Vance Joseph this offseason, those calling for more minority coaches have a very strong argument. While the league has done some things to encourage more minority hirings – such as the Rooney Rule and minority coaching intern programs – the fact is, the disparity between the percentage of African-American coaches in the NFL and African-American players is disturbing.

One who has no problem calling the league out is new Bucs assistant head coach and run game coordinator Harold Goodwin.

When asked if a lack of minority coordinators had something to do with no African-American coach being hired so far this offseason, Goodwin didn’t mince words.

“Here’s my deal, I had that title for five years, where did it get me?” Goodwin said. “Every time I went in the interview [they said], ‘You didn’t call plays.’ I called plays. BA (Bruce Arians) let me call plays in preseason, but he wasn’t going to give it up. I called plays in preseason. And are we looking for playcallers or are we looking for leaders? We’re looking for leaders of men – leaders that can help build an organization from the ground up on the football side.

Bucs DC Todd Bowles
Bucs DC Todd Bowles – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

“So I did that and the next excuse was, ‘Well we don’t like your staff.’ Well, a lot of my staff is still coaching. Some guys are coordinators now in the NFL that are having a lot of success that were on my list. I will give credit to two owners, [Terry and Kim] Pagula and Shahid Khan. They were actually in the interviews, I can’t say that about the others. Those were real interviews and I appreciate that opportunity. It’s hard for line [coach] background coaches to make it, Doug Marrone was the exception. I think Mike Tice was, and Coach [Tom] Cable. I know Mike Tice called plays, I don’t know if the other ones did or not, but it’s hard, and I’m a realist. I have no ego, I’m about team. If we win I’ll still eat.”

The Glazer family has the best track record in the league for minority hirings, appointing Tony Dungy, Raheem Morris and Lovie Smith as head coaches since taking over the franchise in 1995. No other NFL team has hired three African-American head coaches.

New Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians has now hired African-Americans as his coordinators with Bowles, Byron Leftwich and special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong, and the Bucs are the only team in the NFL that has three minorities as their top three coordinators.

That fact wasn’t lost on Goodwin.

Bucs ST coordinator Keith Armstrong
Bucs ST coordinator Keith Armstrong – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

“It tells you what kind of man he is,” Goodwin said of Arians. “Like I said, he doesn’t care how you got here. As long as you get with him and you’re loyal to him he’s going to look out for you. I’m just kind of sad where football is right now in the National Football League. When it came down to Byron [Leftwich] and myself, the whole coordinator thing, I called Byron weeks ago, before he did decide to get back in, and said ‘Bro, you can have it.’ I don’t coach quarterbacks, I’m not a quarterback whisperer. Can I coach football? Yes, I can, very damn well in my opinion. But there’s a different dynamic between a quarterback talking to a quarterback. I love Byron to death, he’s a brother of mine, and so I’m happy for him. But BA? He don’t care [about a person’s race as long as he can get the job done].

“I like guys that pay their dues. I like that. To each his own. Owners do what they want to do. It’s not my football team, I’m just a part and I’m just happy to be in the club. Owners can do what they want to do. Is some of it kind of discouraging? Yes, it is. But if you keep plugging along, which I will, my day will come. That’s all I’ll say about that.”

During Friday’s press conference, Goodwin said something that made for a very awkward moment when talking about trying to get a head coaching job in the NFL.

“I tried to lighten my skin,” Goodwin said. “I tried to lose some weight.”

After a few seconds of silence, that really felt like minutes, Goodwin broke into a smile and said he as just kidding. And while he was kidding about lightening his skin his statement was very powerful – and no joke. Especially when you look at the Arizona Cardinals firing an African-American head coach in Wilks and signing former Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury, a young, good looking hot-shot from the college ranks that the Cardinals hope turns out to be the next Sean McVay.

Before the 2018 even ended, the NFL had a significant issue with a lack of minority coaches. Losing five more as 2019 begins makes for an even bigger issue moving forward. Goodwin had no problem pointing it out. Maybe more awkward moments in press conferences need to take place.

And maybe the NFL will listen.

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Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]

22 COMMENTS

  1. I listened to his presser, he’s the real deal, everyone should check it out. I’m glad he’s with the Bucs, and will have a strong hand in making our O line great I have little doubt. This guy is a leader of men, and like BA tells you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. He should be a H.C. some day, maybe here when BA does retire again.

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  2. Liked all the pressers yesterday, especially Armstrong’s. While Goodwin mentioned Warhop was one of his mentors, really hoping he and Gilbert are able to get more out of the OL than Warhop did. Did like the fact that he sees the OL as being the heartbeat and foundation of the team, hopefully the guys buy in and start performing like it.

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  3. Coaches should be hired and fired based on there records and potential.
    Having a quota is disingenuous. Is he saying there should be more coaches of color because there are more players of color? Does he mean white coaches cannot coach players of color adequately or is there an entitlement to coach players of color?
    Lady Justice wears a blind fold. Owners should too and hire and fire based on promise and results.
    Raheem Morris and Lovie Smith were fired because the could not win. Firing Tony Dungy was stupid -he won!

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  4. Agree filling jobs by race is stupid. I assume since there are proportionately more whites than African Americans in the country wouldn’t there just be more white candidates? I think any NFL owner wants to win and doesn’t care what color the coach is. I know when I hire in my business I hire who can get job done best period.

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  5. I totally agree about this race issue thing. I’m all for who’s the most qualified. Qualifications can be different in everyone’s eyes. It doesn’t have anything to do with race. However, State, County, and Cities have this in place. I know that for a fact as I’m a retired State employee. I applied for a city job in the 90’s and scored a 95 on the oral interview. I was told by my neighbor who is a friend of mine this “Check this out white boy you need to score at least 100 or your not getting hired but if you were black you would be hired right now” . I laughed but it was true. I reinterviewed and scored 110 due to military credit. They offered me the job and I declined it. So it happens and has been happening for a long time where Minority’s get the benefit. I have zero hard feelings. I just wish it would not be based on race and just Best person for the job. BTW, I have been a Bucs fan since the inception of the team, it’s been tough being a fan but I really like the recent hires.

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  6. I guess some of you don’t remember when there were no black Q.B.’s, and why, and what the reason was there would never be any? What fans said, and owners no doubt thought wasn’t kind. If there was no prejudice in the world it wouldn’t have taken blacks so long to get the right to vote. Schools would’ve never been segregated, equal opportunity would never had to have been a law, and the Rooney rule would’ve never have been needed. The world is changing, it’s much different then the world I grew up in. But when a black coach is fired after one year in Az, for some young white dude who had a losing record in college, and no, or not much NFL experience we all should raise an eyebrow, and wonder.

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    • @surferdudes, So answer me this. Are the qualifications you look in someone different then mine or many others? I bet there are, we all have a difference of opinion. Wilkes was terrible and the team was declining, it’s not what the Cardinals wanted in the head coach, is that wrong? don’t give me he only had a year to do it. There was no improvement whatsoever!!!! Don’t start on this race thing, it’s very tiring !!!! I’m white and I have never ever had one single thing handed to me. I had to work for every single thing I have. I think that should stand for everyone!! The best qualififed for what ever it is in life!!!!! and its to the qualifications to that person or organization. We all F’ing Bleed red, we are all AMERICANS!!!! every last single one of us has the same damn rights!!!! So stop making this a race issue PLEASE!!! this is about Football a sport a game!!!!! Okay, thats all, God Bless. Oh and “GO BUCS”

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    • No, we shouldn’t all raise an eyebrow. What we should do is ignore every race baiting pile of garbage, such as yourself. Society would become a much better place and people would get along much better if people like you weren’t purposely trying to cause division with your BS race baiting. YOU are the problem, no matter how much you want to see hatred in others. You’re consumed with it.

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  7. There were no coaches fired including Dirk that didn’t deserve to be fired Vance Joseph was awful in Denver Hue lost 32 games in a row in Clevland please provide the name of coach that was winning that was fired please!

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  8. I watched his presser, really like his perspective.

    I’m not a fan of the race conversation, but to listen to this man he’s had some bad experiences that he attributes to race. Not going to second guess him and if that’s the case I am as disappointed as he is. People that evaluate individuals based on anything other than their ability and the content of their character need to look at themselves in the mirror and decide whether they want to join the human race in this century.

    I wish Goodwin the best here with the Bucs and hope he gets his HC shot.

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  9. So what I said wasn’t true JuJu? Blacks have never been told you can’t sit at this lunch counter? You can’t use this water fountain, or bathroom, go to school with whites, marry one? You’re telling me the Klan is no more, there is no longer prejudice in the country, and you had it just as hard as any black person? Wow.

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    • @surferdudes did I say that never happened? you race baiter, Wow. Do not try and involve in in your race hatred. I never said the Klan didn’t exist are you going to tell me that there aren’t Black Hate groups? I don’t stand for them any of them. Your ignorance is amazing. You apparently didn’t read everything I said. You don’t know how I had it in life. I did have a hard time when I was young but I did something about it just like anyone can any race, religion, or sexual preference can. So you can save you Boo Hoo Crap. I’ve been there done that my friend.

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  10. Dr.T, yes Tony Dungy should have been fired. He had one of the best defenses in the NFL yet couldn’t even get to the Super Bowl.
    Enter Jon Gruden who keeps Dungy’s defense together and puts together a rag tag assortment of players and ends the season at 12-4 and wins the Super Bowl.
    Dungy would have loved to have won the Rams game 9 to 5. He thought that was how games should be won.
    My god, look at who his offensive coordinators were. Both Mike Shula and Clyde Christenson were still wet behind the ears and the other one I can remember was the enigmatic Les Steckel. Hoo Rah!

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    • In my view that 1999 team of which you spoke was better than the one that won the Super Bowl. Perhaps if Trent Dilfer, and not the rookie, “Smoothie” King, been at the helm we might have mustered enough points a (12) to overcome the one and only play the Greatest Show on Turf made that day. It was Dungy’s offense that lost that game and kept the team from achieving what the Defense’s greatness might have warranted.

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  11. Just gonna leave this here… it’s business. You as an owner or GM are going to hire the people that you believe will make you successful.

    If you fail in that you will be fired. Thats big facts. Nobody GAF about what color you are. It’s can you produce, can you bring me success, can you win…

    Tired of all this dumb shit about race… it’s win or lose your job. People are going to hire the people that they believe can produce.

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  12. Back in the day when having our black QB (Doug Williams) was mentioned in conversations because of its’ rarity; my response was always, “The players all look orange to me.” I suppose they’re all red/pewter now.

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  13. Juju, you didn’t read what I first said. It should raise an eyebrow when a black coach is fired after one season, and make one wonder. It should also make one wonder why with a league made up of 75 percent black players has such few black head coaches. Can’t you see how that might look to someone like Goodwin who’s paid his due, and never has gotten a shot, while all these young 30 something white guys are getting theirs?

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  14. Surfer dudes,
    I agree with your comments about racism in America in the past and present.
    But
    Do you think that is an entitlement for people of color to be hired as Head Coaches based on their color?
    Is that not racial discrimination itself?

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  15. No I don’t, but considering the number of black players, and black asst. coaches you must admit there’s a disproportionate amount of white H.C.’s compared to black. All I’m saying is what Goodwin said. It seems odd all these young white coaches like Kingsbury, LaFleur, are getting hired, and black coaches like himself, Bienemie are getting passed over. If you were a black man in that situation, wouldn’t you think it a bit odd?

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    • @surferdudes your making your point less valid my friend. So if 75% of the players are black (Which there a lot of NFL players) and there are only 32 Head Coaching jobs in the NFL and your saying there are many Black Assistant Coaches, what race is actually being discriminated against? Come on now your digging yourself a hole here. Are White people complaing there are to many Black players? I don’t believe so, I know I’m not.

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  16. I think getting fired after one season is not fair to that coach. Some times it might take a few year to weed out people and bring your people in. However, this is not the 1st time it has happened. It has happened about 15 other times. No one except the people in the building know why. Check the list of head coaches to be fired after 1 season. It affects all races

    https://herosports.com/nfl/head-coaches-fired-after-one-season-aiai

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  17. And didn’t our own Bucs give a young coach(Raheem Morris) with ZERO NFL coordinator experience, a head coaching job? He only had 1 subpar year as the DC at Kansas State, and I didn’t think he deserved that job over some of the Coordinators that were already in the NFL. But the Glazers took a chance and failed

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