|BCA leader: Gill to Nebraska would be sign of progress|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 26 November 2007 14:38|
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -The number of black coaches leading major-college football programs wouldn't increase if Buffalo's Turner Gill returns to Nebraska.|
Still, Gill's hiring would be a sign of progress, the head of the Black Coaches and Administrators says.
That's because Nebraska is a Bowl Championship Series school in the Big 12.
``It's a key job because it's visible,'' BCA executive director Floyd Keith said Monday.
Including Gill, there are only six black coaches at 119 major-college football schools: Mississippi State's Sylvester Croom, UCLA's Karl Dorrell, Washington's Tyrone Willingham, Kansas State's Ron Prince and Miami's Randy Shannon.
Four years ago, Keith criticized Nebraska for its 40-day search that resulted in the hiring of Bill Callahan, saying former athletic director Steve Pederson didn't seriously consider minority candidates.
Recently, Nebraska's interim athletic director and former coach Tom Osborne was given permission to interview Gill. It wasn't immediately known whether they met Monday. Gill has not returned phone messages from The Associated Press, and he was scheduled to be on a recruiting trip until Wednesday.
Osborne already has interviewed LSU defensive coordinator Bo Pelini, according to media reports. Pederson interviewed Gill and Pelini before Callahan's hiring in 2004.
Gill would be a perfect fit for the Cornhuskers, Keith said, because he played at Nebraska and served as a longtime assistant with the Cornhuskers. Now he's had two years of head coaching experience at Buffalo.
While Gill was the quarterback at Nebraska from 1981-83, the Cornhuskers never lost a Big Eight Conference game. He was a finalist for the '83 Heisman Trophy.
In December 2005, Gill agreed to a five-year contract to coach Buffalo, which won just 10 games in its first seven years in the Football Bowl Subdivision, formerly known as Division I-A. After the Bulls went 2-10 in 2006, Gill led them to a 5-3 finish in the Mid-America Conference, and a first-place tie in the East Division, this season. Buffalo was 5-7 overall.
Gill was lauded as one of the nation's top recruiters while an assistant coach at Nebraska from 1992-2004, during which the Cornhuskers won three national titles. In 2005 he was player development director and offensive assistant with the Green Bay Packers.
Keith said he would send a letter to Osborne discussing the BCA's interest in the search and the organization's willingness to assist. Such letters are routinely sent to schools conducting coaching searches, Keith said.
``We hope we have conversations with them during that process and that they follow the guidelines for an inclusive and equitable search,'' Keith said.
Keith said he has known Osborne since the 1970s, and he trusts the former coach's judgment.
``He's always been a fair man,'' Keith said.
On the Net:
Black Coaches and Administrators: http://bcasports.cstv.com/
University of Nebraska athletics: http:www.huskers.com
University at Buffalo athletics: http://www.ubathletics.buffalo.edu/
LSU athletics: http://www.lsusports.net/
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