Do NFL teams with head coach vacancies shortchange coaches of color?


During Tony Dungy’s first interview with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1996, he was asked why he thought he had interviewed for so many NFL head coaching jobs and never gotten one.  

Dungy, then 40, was exasperated. In the previous decade, he had interviewed just four times. And during two of those interviews, he had been told by team brass that their ideal head coaching candidate had a completely different skillset than his own — offensive expertise, for example, or previous head coaching experience.

“I had four, and two of them for sure I wasn’t going to get, because I wasn’t what they were looking for,” Dungy recalled.

Now an analyst with NBC Sports, he brings up his early interviews not because he holds any ill will toward the teams or executives involved, but because the experience illustrates a frustrating catch-22 that is still present in the NFL coaching world — especially for coaches of color. 


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