(WJZ)- Maryland Terrapins head football coach Michael Locksley is set to announce Thursday the formation of the National Coalition of Minority Football Coaches, a group that is aimed at identifying and grooming coaches of color, both male and female, to prepare them to move up the coaching ranks. NFL.com’s Jim Trotter reports that the formation of the Coalition comes in response to the lack of minority hiring in both the NFL and college football.

“When I took the Maryland job last year and looked at the landscape of college football, I thought to myself, ‘There’s something missing. I’m on the back nine of my career and the pathway to becoming a head coach is still as difficult as when I got into the business in 1992,'” Locksley told Trotter. “I wanted to create an organization that would be able to help prepare, promote and produce the next group of coaches coming up through the ranks at every level.”

The NFL made additions to the “Rooney Rule” this offseason as part of an attempt to address the lack of minorities in head coaching and coordinator positions in the league. The NFL currently has just three minority head coaches among its 32 teams. College football has problems of its own in this area as Locksley is one of just 14 minority head coaches out of the 130 FBS Division I schools.

The NCMFC Board of Directors includes former Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome and Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin among other big names. This is the full board of directors according to the organization’s website:

  • Ozzie Newsome, Hall of Famer on college and pro levels, first Black general manager in the NFL, overseer of two Super Bowl winners in Baltimore.
  • Nick Saban, University of Alabama head coach and six-time national champion.
  • Bill Polian, Pro Football Hall of Fame general manager whose teams participated in five Super Bowls, winning one.
  • Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach, two-time Super Bowl participant and XLIII winner.
  • Doug Williams, Super Bowl XXII MVP quarterback and Washington Football Team executive.
  • Oliver “Buddy” Pough, South Carolina State head coach.
  • Willie Jeffries, first Black head coach in Division I football at Wichita State.
  • Chris Grier, Miami Dolphins general manager.
  • Debbie Yow, retired basketball coach and pioneering college administrator.
  • Rick Smith, former Houston Texans general manager.
  • Desiree Reed-Francois, UNLV athletic director and first Hispanic female and woman of color to be AD at an FBS school.

According to Trotter, the Coalition is expected to begin forming its list of candidates in four or five months once the organization has built its foundation. Interested coaches can register at NCMFC.com.

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