Barriers to Advancement: The Value of Black Coaches as Recruiters in SEC Football

Chris Corr – Troy University
Christopher Atwater – Troy University
Richard M. Southall – University of South Carolina

Black coaches comprise nearly half of all Southeastern Conference (SEC) assistant football coaches. However, during the 2021 college football season all 14 SEC head coaches were White. Racial tasking occurs when racially different individuals have the same title or rank but are assigned different job responsibilities. Given that successful recruiting is crucial to winning college football games, this study sought to determine whether Black SEC assistant coaches are tasked with different recruiting responsibilities than White coaches. This study’s findings reveal Black assistant coaches are disproportionately tasked with recruiting four- and five-star Black recruits, the proverbial lifeblood of college football success. As a result of disproportionately being tasked with recruiting responsibilities, Black SEC assistant football coaches experience disparate outcomes, failing to achieve coordinator and head coaching status. This study offers evidence that in the SEC racial tasking is a form of institutional racialization that inhibits the sustained coaching ascension and success of Black assistant football coaches.