When Virginia hosts Eastern Michigan on Saturday, another milestone for minority coaches and athletic administrators will be realized. Not only will this mark the 1,000th game for the Eastern Michigan football program, it will also be a noteworthy day for minority football coaches and athletic directors on the Division I FBS and FCS levels (excluding historically black colleges). Currently, 15 of the 120 FBS football coaches are of color, according to the BCA (Black Coaches and Administrators).
Virginia coach Mike London and AD Craig Littlepage will host coach Ron English and AD Derrick Gragg, and while no official NCAA record currently exists, the game is believed to be the first football game on the Division I level with the opposing coaches and athletic directors being black.
“This game between Eastern Michigan and the University of Virginia affirms the progress seen in hiring for the highest levels of intercollegiate sport," Littlepage said in a prepared statement from the BCA. "UVA sends congratulations to EMU’s leaders, Dr. Derrick Gragg and Ron English, on the occasion of Eastern Michigan’s 1,000th football game.”
"College athletics has been a major part of my life for the past 20-plus years and I am honored to be able to play a role in this historic event," Gragg said in a prepared statement. "I have great respect for Craig Littlepage and his contributions to intercollegiate athletics as a coach and athletic administrator. I am certainly looking forward to Saturday's game."
“It is significant that we are experiencing such tangible events as this in intercollegiate athletics today," BCA executive director Floyd Keith said. "This event follows a breakthrough year in the hiring of football coaches on the college FBS level. As we move forward into 2011, I am encouraged that this trend will continue and such meetings will become more commonplace on our fall Saturday afternoons.”