College Football’s “Doug Williams Moment?”


ABC blew it. Following the biggest upset of the college football season – UCLA’s 13-9 defeat of #2 USC – the network first interviewed the losing head coach (Celebrity/Coach Pete Carroll), then seemingly could not get a close-up camera to UCLA coach Karl Dorrell. ABC sideline reporter Lisa Salters interviewed Dorrell but we barely saw him. He was shown from a couple of distant camera views but never the kind of close-up Carroll got.

My wife, who knows more about TV than I do, told me not to make anything big of the mis-step, saying the upset was so stunning the network just may have had its cameras in the wrong place. But the Conspiracy Guy in me still wondered: What’s up with that???

Dorrell was 6-5 going into the game, and on the proverbial hot seat. Not only did he save his own job. But just maybe he orchestrated college football’s “Doug Williams moment.” Williams’s courageous and dominating performance in leading Washington’s triumph in Super Bowl XXII forever erased any doubts about the ability of black QBs to win on pro football’s grandest stage. Now, with so many openings in college football and so few non-white head coaches – just 5 of 119 – maybe the fourth-year UCLA coach showed that non-white men can coach this game, too, and win when it matters most.

One man whose phone should definitely ring this week: UCLA defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker , who coached under Carroll with the New England Patriots and at USC. His plan was brilliantly conceived and executed. (Props to Carroll for giving Walker credit on national TV.) USC scored 66 points on the Bruins alst seasomn. But this time around, UCLA stymied the Trojans at every turn. USC was held to a paltry 55 yards rushing and failed to score at least 20 points for the first time since the 2001 Las Vegas Bowl. That a 63-game string snapped.

If Walker isn’t snapped up soon, there should be an investigation.

Are you guys listening in Miami, Alabama and elsewhere – like my alma mater, Stanford! – there are openings?

Gamer: Karl Dorrell.


17 thoughts on “College Football’s “Doug Williams Moment?”

  1. Juan says:

    I noticed the same thing about the post-game scene in LA.
    Salters went right to Pete Carroll.

    ABC did correctly point out that DeWayne Walker, defensive coordinator deserved a “thatta boy” for his shutting down SC for most of the game.

    In his last three games, DeWayne’s Bruin D held Oregon State to one TD, shut out ASU, and allowed one TD to USC.

    Kudos to the Bruin coaching staff for pulling off that upset.

  2. Daryl says:

    You have very capable and skilled African American coaches, as well as White coaches. However, what tilts the scales of justice to one side is that White coaches who are marginal,below average, and failures are given the opportunity to coach at other programs. While very capable African American coaches are not given this grace. When an African American is given an opportunity, the learning curve is zero. On the other hand, White coaches who are marginal or below standards are recycled from one program to the next until he learns his craft through trial and error. African American coaches should be afforded the same grace. I would like to commend karl Dorrell and Dewayne Walker for a job well done.

  3. Todd Smith says:

    Same old, same old. I too am a coach, but in baseball and I also feel the sting of not being recognized for my accomplishments and/or ability to coach and get the job done. I have professional experience as a player and as a coach. In my area I was told that in order to coach at the high school varsity level, I would have to get my degree, become an employee of the district, then apply for a coaching spot. Well, I did all of the above mentioned and the district in turn hire a white male that was not a district employee. It seems that now that I have my degree, the rules have changed. I have now been told that being a district employee guarantees you an interview, but not the job if there is another qualified candidate. One person that got the job was a construction worker, another played college intramurals, and two others are football coaches. I personally baseball in high school, college, and began my professional career in 1984 with the Pittsburgh Pirates, 1991 with the Cleveland Indians, and finished as a player/coach with the AA independent Bend Oregon Bandits under former major leaguers Al Gallagher and Dennis Burt in 1995. After that came several years of paying my dues as an assistant coach at the junior college level and high school junior varsity and varsity levels and bringing three championships to the school. Which by the way is located in Northern California. Karl Dorrell, you and the other black coaches are trailblazers. God Bless you! There are more black coaches trying to cross the thresholds into the higher levels of coaching and eventually we will get in. While there is a shortage of black coaches, there most definitely is not a shortage of qualified candidates pursuing positions.

    Todd Smith B.S. Early Childhood Education/Development

  4. Todd Smith says:

    We need to network among ourselves and support the coaches that are already out there. Karl and Dewayne, keep up the good work.

  5. DeWayne Walker is the truth. UCLA is notorious for being soft on defense, to the point where if you asked UCLA players about it, they’d respond ‘like a baby’s bottom”.

    But Walker attacked, attacked, and then attacked some more. Cal was lucky to pop some big plays, but I knew UCLA was going to win when they BLEW through the line and stop USC on a 4th and 1. USC lost four yards on the play.

    It would be hard for any coach to coach opposite USC, and Dorrell has done it with mucho class. If Alabama hired another retread, or another Mike (Dubose, Price, or Shula) then they get who they deserve. Stanford, well I don’t know who they’re going to hire. If they don’t get it right, then they might have to get ready to be the Vandy or Duke of the Pac-10. Miami, who knows who could deal with that mess. Another candidate should be the brother at Michigan. I can’t remember his name, but Michigan’s offense was great this year.

  6. Excuse me, Michigan’s defense. He is their defensive coordinator.



  8. I think Stanford is at a critical moment. I think you can either find a retread, but guarantee no excitement for a fan base that’s blase in the best of times. Or you can make a splash. So what about John Elway? He doesn’t need more than the 1.5 you’ll pay him. He’ll spark a fire under recruits like Walsh did during his tenure. The stands will fill up to watch him. The alumni love him. And he’ll attract good assistants which will make him a good head coach. Two more add ons that are self evident, but I’ll say it anyway. He’s a quarterback ala Tedford, and he’s a coach’s son (a STANFORD coach’s son). Dem are some strong qualifications if I’m a new AD looking for a win-win. Now whether he wins on the field, no one knows. But by the time the receipts are counted, no one will care. What do you think?


  9. Juan says:

    John Elway ?- the potential for failure and tarnishing a legacy is great. See Joe Kapp at Cal. Or Clyde Drexler at Houston.

    The alumni will hate him when he goes 1-10 in the conference.

    I’m not so certain that he’ll get good assistants. No guarantee of that.
    Recruits… they’re not going to go to a place just for Elway. Trust me on that.

    All that, and I’m not sure why he would want that headache.

  10. dwone says:

    the problem with lack of black coaches goes back to elementary schools
    and non-majority ethnic areas. are people from ethnic backgrounds in
    low percentage ethnic areas given opportunities on a equal basis?

  11. Fred says:

    I am an explayer and coach and I feel for the brothers still trying to get their foot in the door. I live in Texas and I see the the good olboys going from one school to the next. Football here is even worse at the high school level and it is making a once traditional powerhouse state look average. This type of coach swaping is going on at every level and we need to do somthing about it. I would like to see parents take a chance on sending their children to the few nonwhite coaches that have the jobs now and watch them build a real powerhouse program. I bet that would wake up a few people. SEND YOUR BLUE CHIPS TO UCLA people.

  12. Juan says:

    That’s a great point Fred.

    It’s hard to get a kid at the age of 18 to do what his parents want. know at 18, if my folks said something, I was shutting off the ears for the most part.

    This was played out publicly when Kellen Winslow Sr. argued with his son, Kellen Winslow Jr. (the self-proclaimed K2) over where he was going to school.
    Son wanted to commit to Neuheisel and Washington.
    Dad wanted him to go to Michigan State with Bobby Wlliams (Af. American head man there) (BTW- good book on Williams’ tenure at Michigan State entitled “Innocence in the Red Zone” by Roger Groves. A good book albeit a little annoying because of the bad editing done on the book, but a really informative book on how decisions are made on one’s coaching future.)

    Hard to get a kid to change his mind about a place.

  13. Iwas looking for Doug Williams

  14. I was looking for Doug Willams

  15. John says:

    Two things have to happen in my opinion for minority coaches to start getting the chances they deserve 1- a minority coach will have to take his team to the national championship game. 2- parents of and the highly recruited minority players will have to stand up and publicly say “im not going to this school because of its bad grade in minority hiring of coaches”. It will really only take 2 or 3 highly recruited players to say that before you see many more colleges even try to give minority coaches a fair shake at coaching. The bottom line is money. If the University feels it is losing money because of their unfair hiring practices you will see a quick turnaround in minority coaches hired.

  16. Idetrorce says:

    very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

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