Andy Reid on diversity in coaching: Just do the right thing
Kansas City coach has the league’s only black offensive coordinator, Eric Bieniemy, on his staff
6:20 PMORLANDO, Florida — During the Super Bowl, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledged that the NFL has too few coaches of color in the pipeline on offense. That’s a problem during an era in which owners prefer to pick from that side of the ball to fill openings.
“The trend now is offensive coaches,” Goodell said.
And Eric Bieniemy of the Kansas City Chiefs is the league’s only African-American offensive coordinator. So how can the gap be bridged?
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has some thoughts. Reid was recently honored by the Fritz Pollard Alliance, the group that helps the NFL oversee compliance with the Rooney Rule, for his contributions to furthering opportunities for candidates of color in coaching, front-office and scouting roles.
The answer to improving diversity in the ranks on offense, and coaching in general, is simple: Just do the right thing.
“I’m into good coaches,” Reid said. “I don’t get caught up in all the color. I don’t do all that. I can’t speak for other people on that. I talk to everybody. When you see me at the Senior Bowl, I’ve always got people coming up [to me] and I talk to ’em. Young guys. I don’t care what color they are, let’s talk some ball.
“As long as a guy loves ball, he’s got aptitude and is willing to work, I’m all in on him, man. And that’s what Eric Bieniemy is. That’s what I like. Just open your heart, man. Do what’s best for the game. I don’t care what color you are. Do what’s best for the game.”
Under Reid, Bieniemy is in a good spot. And that’s a big part of it, Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson said.
“Eric Bieniemy is with Andy Reid, who’s definitely about diversity and about giving guys opportunities,” said Jackson, one of the NFL’s seven African-American head coaches. “There’s a lot of head coaches that feel that way too. But you have to be in the right situation at the right time.”
Sweet 16 supermatchup: Mariah Musselman to interview Sister Jean
Nevada coach’s daughter and Loyola Chicago’s team chaplain are the media darlings of tournament
12:37 PMAs the NCAA tournament resumes with the Sweet 16, the nation is looking forward to one of the most anticipated matchups of the tournament.
Thursday night, Mariah Musselman, 8, the daughter of Nevada coach Eric Musselman, interviews Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, the 98-year-old team chaplain for Loyola Chicago, before the team’s South Region game in Atlanta.
The made-for-TV meeting — CBS set it up — brings together the two media darlings of this year’s March Madness.
Sister Jean’s become such a celebrity watching Loyola’s two nail-biting games from the sidelines that former President Barack Obama gave her a shoutout last week.
Congrats to @LoyolaChicago and Sister Jean for a last-second upset – I had faith in my pick!
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) March 15, 2018
And Mariah Musselman, the daughter of Musselman and former ESPN anchor Danyelle Sargent-Musselman, has proved she has a bright future in journalism with her interview of her dad.
"What's harder, waking me up or going into overtime?" 😂@NevadaHoops head coach Eric Musselman's daughter Mariah interviews her dad ahead of the Wolf Pack's matchup vs. Cincinnati! #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/ZZ24WhuZuE
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 18, 2018
Eric Musselman, who has demonstrated a personality of his own with his postgame locker room celebrations, is happy for his daughter’s exposure.
“I just hope my daughter can make as much money as my wife did in broadcasting,” he said. “It would really, really be great for our family if she could start on her broadcasting career as soon as possible.”
Mariah, who wore wolf ears during Nevada’s upset of Cincinnati on Sunday, showed a tremendous amount of poise and charisma during the interview with her father. She said she wants to follow in her mom’s footsteps and be a sports anchor or an actress.
“It was a good start,” Eric Musselman said, beaming, as he discussed being grilled by his daughter in front of a national television audience. “It was a big, big moment for her. It was a big moment for our family.”
What a week for Naomi Osaka, who won her first WTA title and beat her childhood idol Serena Williams
Forget winning, Osaka was all about that post-match handshake
12:16 PMEver since Naomi Osaka celebrated her 20th birthday in October, the Afro-Japanese youngblood has done no worse than quarterfinals and fourth-round exits.
On March 18, Osaka defeated Daria Kasatkina in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2, at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, to win her first WTA title. Osaka played nearly perfect tennis, dropping only one set in eight matches and beating three players who have been WTA No. 1s (Maria Sharapova, Karolina Pliskova, Simona Halep) and a No. 2 (Agnieszka Radwanska) en route to the title.
— WTA (@WTA) March 18, 2018
Hours after her first WTA win, Osaka’s coach informed her that she got paired up with Serena Williams, her childhood idol, in the first round of the Miami Open. Osaka would end up winning the match fairly easily, 6-3, 6-2. While winning was certainly a high point, it was the post-match handshake that really resonated with Osaka.
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@Naomi_Osaka_) March 21, 2018
“This is going to be really bad,” Osaka cautioned. “Sometimes when I’m in a really important position, when I’m serving, I’m like, ‘What would Serena [Williams] do?’ ”
Osaka, ranked 44th in the world heading into Indian Wells, has risen to No. 22.
Buffalo’s Mark Alnutt becomes 15th black athletic director at an FBS school
He replaces Allen Greene, who left for Auburn
8:12 PMThe University at Buffalo announced on Wednesday that Mark Alnutt, the deputy athletic director at the University of Memphis, will be the school’s next director of athletics, replacing the recently departed Allen Greene.
Alnutt, 45, spent almost three years at Memphis, where he helped raise more than $40 million for the athletic department and was instrumental in the hiring of men’s basketball coach Tubby Smith in 2016. Smith was fired and replaced by former Tigers guard Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway this month. Before that, Alnutt served as athletic director at Southeast Missouri State University from 2012 to 2015 and held multiple leadership positions at the University of Missouri from 2000 to 2012, including associate athletic director. A Kansas City, Missouri, native, Alnutt also played linebacker and tight end for Missouri in the early 1990s.
In January, Greene left his post as UB’s athletic director after just two years to take the same position at the University of Auburn, paving the way for Alnutt to take over a program that had its first NCAA men’s basketball tournament victory last week and its first Sweet 16 appearance in school history when the women’s basketball team upset Florida State on Monday.
With the hiring of Alnutt, the number of black athletic directors in the 130 Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools increases to 15 (11.5 percent). He joins Northern Illinois’ Sean Frazier as the only black athletic directors in the Mid-American Conference.
“We are so excited to have Mark join our UB family,” University at Buffalo president Satish K. Tripathi, who himself is one of just five school presidents of Asian descent among FBS schools, said in a statement. “His time in NCAA athletics has been defined by his leadership and vision. We believe that he possesses exactly the qualities needed to elevate UB Athletics to our next tier of excellence.”
Alnutt’s first day will be April 11.
Black athletic directors in FBS
- Allen Greene, Auburn
- Bernard Muir, Stanford
- Carla Williams, Virginia
- David Williams II, Vanderbilt
- Derrick Gragg, Tulsa
- Eugene Smith, Ohio State University
- Damon Evans, Maryland (interim)
- Lynn Swann, USC
- Martin Jarmond, Boston College
- Michael Williams, California
- Ray Anderson, Arizona State
- Sean Frazier, Northern Illinois
- Stan Wilcox, Florida State
- Warde J. Manuel, Michigan
- Mark Alnutt, Buffalo