The 21st Show

ENCORE: Illini Football Model of Diversity


Vashoune Russell for Illinois Public Media

Editor's Note: This segment originally aired in June 2020. 

In a sport where black football players make up nearly half of the rosters, Black coaches lead just 9% of programs. The racial disparity between coaches and players in college football programs have come under fire amidst the national movement for racial justice.

But at the University of Illinois, head football coach Lovie Smith has built the most racially diverse coaching staff in top-tier college football, with 8 Black coaches. Lovie’s program could potentially serve as a model that helps close the gap of racial disparity in college football.


Shannon Ryan, sports reporter for the Chicago Tribune


Prepared for web by Zainab Qureshi

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