Two Academic and Football Powerhouses Appoint Black Head Coaches

Only a handful of the nation’s highest academically ranked research universities have major college football programs. At these schools, such as Notre Dame, Northwestern, and the University of Virginia, athletes must still meet rigid academic standards.

Two of these major college football programs at academically prestigious universities have recently hired African-American head coaches. At Stanford, whose football team was ranked fourth in the nation this past season, David Shaw was named Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football. Shaw, a 1995 Stanford graduate, is the 34th head football coach in university history. He has served as the team’s offensive coordinator for the past four seasons. He previously coached at the University of San Diego and in the National Football League.

Also, James Franklin was named head coach at Vanderbilt University. He is the first African American to lead the Vanderbilt program. He was the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at the University of Maryland. Franklin previously coached at Kansas State University, Idaho State University, Kutztown University, James Madison University, Washington State University, and in the National Football League.

Franklin is a 1995 graduate of East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania. He also holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from Washington State University.