Study: NFL has record number of minority assistants

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The NFL made history last season with two
black head coaches in the Super Bowl. A new university report on
diversity in sports said Wednesday the league also had a record
number of minority assistant coaches.

NFL teams had 165 minority assistants in 2006 -- a 200 percent
increase from 1991, the oldest data researcher Richard Lapchick
had. Lapchick, head of the University of Central Florida's
Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, said there was a 4
percent increase in minority assistants from 2005 to 2006.

"I think that is really an actual pipeline now, and I think
it's where the head coaches are being developed,'' said Lapchick,
who issues similar reports every year on other major sports and the
The NFL had a record seven black head coaches last year --
credited in part to the 2002 "Rooney Rule'' that mandated teams
interview at least one minority candidate for each head coach
vacancy. The total dropped to six for the 2007 season after Art
Shell and Dennis Green were fired and the Pittsburgh Steelers hired
Mike Tomlin.

The number of black general managers increased by one to five
when the New York Giants hired Jerry Reese as the season started,
the study said.

Lapchick used data from 2006, but updated in late August the
coaches, general managers, presidents and owners.

For the third straight year, the NFL declined to provide Central
Florida researchers details on the race and gender makeup of the
league office. Lapchick noted in the report pro football was the
only sports league to decline.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league had no comment on the
The NFL's last grade on gender in Lapchick's report card was a
D-plus in 2004. It earned a B-plus on racial diversity in this
report, same as the previous year.

The Oakland Raiders' Amy Trask remained the NFL's only female
president/CEO, but there was a four-point increase in female vice
presidents, the study said.

The number of black vice presidents dipped slightly, from 16 in
the last report to 13, the study said.