The following is a letter to the editor of the Daily Progress
I was disappointed to learn that Marcus Hagans, the wide receiver coach for the University of Virginia’s football team, is the lone full-time African-American coach on the football staff (“Hagans proud of UVa students who stood up to white nationalists,” The Daily Progress, Aug. 14).
In today’s sports world, especially in collegiate and professional football and basketball, this is unacceptable.
Based on the UVa football team’s internet page, it appears that the team is made up of approximately 65 percent African-Americans. Having just one full-time African-American football coach on this Atlantic Coast Conference team in 2017 is unfathomable.
I don’t believe that we will find many competitive Division I football teams with just one African-American full-time coach. Maybe a baseball or a volleyball team, but not a basketball or football team.
Athletic departments as well as many serious fans understand that having a full-time black coach makes a big different in recruitment efforts and in interpersonal relationships with players, especially with a team that is close to 70 percent black.
How can you continue to recruit the best football players in Virginia, or anywhere else, with only one full-time African-American coach?
It’s unimaginable that a football program can be competitive at the highest level without full-time black staff. Again, you will certainly find it very difficult to recruit competitive black football players. How can you be successful in the ACC, competing with the likes of Clemson, Virginia Tech, Louisville and other programs that are wise enough to know that having a racially inclusive coaching staff in football and basketball goes a long way toward staying in the game?
M. Rick Turner, Charlottesville