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Sports news, notes & rumors - 1/10

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 12:00:00 am

The coaching carousel that’s gone on in college football over the past few weeks has reminded me of what my church-deacon uncle used to say whenever something outlandish happened: “Better get ya’ soul right with Jesus ‘cause the world is coming to an end!”

It may be after the recent hires of two black men at two of the biggest and most prominent college institutions in the country. Not only has Texas hired a black man but one with a white wife. And, according to multiple sources, Athletics Director Steve Patterson had his sights set on Louisville coach Charlie Strong from Day One, which didn’t sit too well with all those billionaire alumni and boosters who wanted a “bigger” name despite Strong’s 23-3 record the past two seasons at the Cardinals.

Vanderbilt coach James Franklin’s name was mentioned for just about every college and NFL opening, but Penn State is the one that got his attention. Franklin, who has won 24 games over the past three seasons, worked wonders at the Commodores, getting fans and alumni to actually care about the football program again. He will have his work cut out for him at PSU after the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal and NCAA sanctions.

Both men have their detractors, of course, and surely race has something to do with it, but their successes, along with Stanford coach David Shaw and Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin, prove that black coaches can make it on the big stage.

Still, it wouldn’t help to say a few prayers.

Les Hull’s hiring at Morgan State puts the HBCU coaching vacancy at five: Mississippi Valley State, Virginia Union, Central State, Winston-Salem State and Jackson State. Bethune-Cookman coach Brian Jenkins released a statement this week that he would not be interviewing for the Jackson State job.

And speaking of Jenkins, last month he snagged Miami running back Danny Dillard who transferred to the school on Dec. 14. Dillard joins teammates Thomas Finnie, Dyron Dye and Jontavious Carter.

Jackson State’s Javancy Jones announced his plans to transfer to Southwest Mississippi Community College late last month. Jones was the SWAC Freshman of the Year with 54 tackles, 14 for loss and five sacks. He announced his departure soon after coach Rick Comegy was given the pink slip.

In the Did You know department, Arkansas Pine-Bluff has the only husband/wife duo in the conference. Nate Kilbert is the head women’s coach and Alys Wells-Kilbert is an assistant. Both are Mississippi Valley State graduates.

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