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One less african-american head coach in D-1A

Discussion in 'College Football' started by ScarletArrow, Nov 27, 2004.

  1. ScarletArrow

    ScarletArrow I'm wearing Gold Pants

    San Jose State canned Fitz Hill.

    I think Willingham and Croom are the only african-american head coaches.

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    Fitz Hill out at San Jose

    San Jose Mercury News

    <!-- begin body-content -->SAN JOSE, Calif. - The night before making the official announcement, Fitz Hill gathered his players for a team meeting to break the news: He was stepping down as San Jose State football coach at the request of Don Kassing, the university's interim president.

    At a news conference Monday, Hill said he has accepted a position as a visiting scholar and research associate at the University of Central Florida's DeVos Sports Business Management Program. Hill, 40, leaves with two years remaining on his guaranteed contract of $166,000 per year and an overall record of 14-32.

    Hill avoided the specifics surrounding his departure, as did Kassing. The move came just three weeks after the announcement that Athletic Director Chuck Bell will retire Dec.1. Hill will coach the Spartans' season finale Saturday against Fresno State.

    "My goal was to step aside and allow those who feel like the program can move forward to continue to do that," Hill said. "And the young men who I feel to suffer are my student-athletes. What I want them to see is the grace and dignity that you handle adversity with. You don't point fingers. You accept it as it is."

    Hill gathered his players Sunday night and told them that Kassing had asked him to step down. According to players, Hill said the decision was based largely on wins and losses.

    "It's a shocker. Nobody expected it," safety Eric Wilson said. "Him being a team leader, he wanted to do what's best for his players. He said if that's what's best for the program, that's what I'll do."

    Kassing was out of town and unavailable for comment. In a statement, he said: "We will miss Fitz and the positive energy he brings. We thank him for his years of dedicated service to San Jose State and the inspiration he has provided to so many student-athletes."

    Several players attended the news conference and were still in shock, especially many of the 31 juniors who were part of Hill's first recruiting class - safety Josh Powell, linebacker Ezekiel Staples and Wilson among them.

    "I'm pretty much in a state of depression," said Staples, adding that several players were upset with Kassing's decision. "The way this business works is cutthroat. When it goes down like that, I'm pretty sure they're not looking at the way he's helped some of the athletes. He made members of our team better men."

    Hill was hired in December 2000 to replace Dave Baldwin, who went 7-5 that season but was fired by Bell during a contract dispute. Hill went 3-9 in his first year with many of the same players who had given the Spartans their only winning season since 1992.

    The 2002 season was Hill's most successful; the Spartans went 6-7 - including a road win over defending Big Ten Conference champion Illinois - and were one victory short of becoming bowl-eligible. Since then, SJSU has won just five games - two against Division I-AA schools.

    If the Spartans lose to Fresno State, they will finish 2-9 and match the 1970 and `93 squads for the school's worst record since 1931.

    "We're not producing wins like we're supposed to be, so of course the coach is going be in the spotlight," Staples said. "You think, we messed it up this year. Maybe next year we can really step it up for him and secure their position. Their livelihoods depend on us. That's what it ultimately comes down to."

    This season has been especially disappointing for SJSU faithful. The Spartans played their most favorable schedule in at least a decade, with no big-money games against national powers and a balanced number of home and away games. Despite that, SJSU is mired in a six-game losing streak.

    "Most people expected more at this point," said Andy Ghiggeri, a former Spartan Foundation and Quarterback Club president. "At this point, we expected more wins, no doubt about that. I'm convinced this team should have had a winning season."

    But Hill was not without supporters. Bell, who hired Hill off the Arkansas coaching staff, still firmly believes Hill is the right man for SJSU, as a coach, leader and role model.

    "I just think he's done so much for the kids that it was too short a stay," Bell said. "That's for sure. It takes a long time to build a program back that's been down for a long time. "

    SJSU is now searching for an athletic director and a football coach at a time crucial for recruiting. Signing day is in early February.

    "We'll do everything we can to keep in touch with these kids we are recruiting now, but obviously it will impact us," said John Glass, SJSU's interim athletic director. "The A.D. will be hired as expeditiously as possible. His or her first job will be to hire a new coach. That should come together fairly quickly if we're going to salvage a recruiting year."

    <!-- end body-content -->
  2. Ratboy18

    Ratboy18 Freshman

    What about UCLA?
  3. bucknut74

    bucknut74 You Enjoy Myself

    Karl Dorrell at UCLA
  4. stxbuck

    stxbuck Woody wore Sambas

    Tony Samuel at New Mexico State is black.
  5. MegaWoody

    MegaWoody Newbie

    What, exactly, is the point of this post?

    Is this a thread on the sorry state of racial equality in major college football coaching, or is there some other agenda? I'm up for the first, but not so sure about the other.
  6. Sdgobucks

    Sdgobucks Pig on a wing

    If the Golden Domers lose ugly to USC good ole Tyrone might be jobless as well, and that would be a shame considering what a stand up guy he seems to be.
  7. ScarletArrow

    ScarletArrow I'm wearing Gold Pants

    No agenda here Mega.

    With so few african-american coaches at the D-1 level I thought Hill's dismissal would get a little attention.

    This was a hot topic when MSU fired Williams - doesn't seem to be so now even though the problem hasn't really been fixed.
  8. MililaniBuckeye

    MililaniBuckeye The satanic soulless freight train that is Ohio St Staff Member Tech Admin

    No doubt in my mind the Hill's "requested resignation" is purely the result of their record. They did play us tough for a quarter inThe Shoe in 2002 and then totally fell apart frm the second quarter on. When a coach goes 3-9, 6-7, 3-8, and 2-8 (well, 2-9 after they get blasted by Fresno State), it shouldn't be a surprise that he's asked to step down, especially when your defense is giving up almost 41 points a game.

    From what I saw of him on the sidelines in our 2002 game, I liked the guy. Maybe he'll get another shot at a HC job down the road.
  9. DaytonBuck

    DaytonBuck I've always liked them

    Tony Samuel got fired last week
  10. stxbuck

    stxbuck Woody wore Sambas

    When black HCs begin to get hired in greater #'s, it also follows that they will get fired in larger #'s. Hopefully football will eventually be like hoops-college and NBA-where a black coach being hired or fired is not any kind of news at all, outside of on-court implications.
  11. BrutusBobcat

    BrutusBobcat Icon and Entertainer

    The racial situation with regards to head coaches is not that surprising when you understand some historical factors. It's also something that will change greatly over the next ten years. Let me explain:

    Let's take a kid 35 years ago who is a Freshman at some D1A college. If he's black, there's a lot of programs where he's something of a pioneer due to years of discrimination by some coaches. Now, let's fast forward a few years -- what are his odds of becoming a GA? Pretty low still, even if he did play at a top program. Given that most head coaches get their first big D1A coaching gig well into their 40's or even 50's, this kid we're talking about would just now be old enough to be getting there after years of working his way through the coaching ranks.

    Now consider if the same kid played in the 80's. His shot at becoming a GA was a lot better, and by now he's an assistant. Look at guys like Mel Tucker, Tim Spencer, Pepper Johnson, etc. There is your next generation of HC's. Will it be those specific guys? Who knows, but the coaching ladder has a lot more rungs being filled by black assistants than it did, which leads one to believe that those coaches will eventually get HC jobs.

    Discriminatory practices have long reaching effects, even well after those practices have been eliminated.
  12. BuckeyeTillIDie

    BuckeyeTillIDie The North Remembers

    hey, we did use that one fake toss pass play on the goal line vs. Wisconsin in 2002 that SJSU ran against us

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