By TSU Athletics
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University Director of Athletics Dr. Mikki Allen has been selected as one of 12 Athletic Directors to participate in the Coalition Academy coach mentorship program. The Coalition Academy was started in 2021 and it pairs Athletic Directors (AD) with minority head coach prospects.
Allen, who is entering his third year as TSU’s Athletic Directors, was the only FCS AD selected and the only AD from an HBCU. The list includes several power five ADs such as Greg Byrne from Alabama, Whitt Babcock from Virginia Tech, and Allen Greene from Auburn among others.
Dr. Allen will be paired up with Coach Dell McGee from the University of Georgia who is the Run Game Coordinator and the running backs coach. Tim Banks from Tennessee, Sherrone Moore from Michigan, and Des Kitchens are a few of the selected coaches. The Academy is coming off an incredibly successful first year, highlighted by the hiring of Marcus Freeman (Notre Dame), Tony Elliott (Virginia), and Jay Norvell (Colorado State).
“There is a certain closed-mindedness amongst decision-makers in college athletics who only hire candidates with coordinator experience,” Allen said. “The hiring philosophy, effective or not, limits the number of qualified minority applicants for available head coaching positions.
Throughout the history of college football, there has been a limited number of minority offensive and defensive play-callers,” Allen continued. “I believe that this is due, in part, because minority coaches many times ascend through the coaching professions by way of their recruiting process. This being the case, many times because they are so highly coveted as recruiters, they take lateral jobs and are not at the program long enough to gain coordinator experience.
The networking opportunities that the Coalition provides opens so many doors for these aspiring head coaches. College sports is a relationship-driven industry and its special that these individuals get an opportunity to be coaches and developed by leaders that share a vested interest in helping people and improving college sports,” he said.
In its first year, the Coalition Academy helped to counteract the narrative that there is a lack of qualified minority coaches to fill available positions and is helping to bring parity to the hiring process in college football. This is why, the Coalition Academy is excited to announce the launch of its second year and the new members of its class.
For more information about the National Coalition of Minority Football Coaches, please visit https://ncmfc.com/.