Have I ever mentioned that I’m from Kentucky? The Bluegrass State, home of fast horses and beautiful women? (Or is that fast women and beautiful horses?)
Well I am a proud native of the Bluegrass with both sides of my family there for six or seven generations. And today, Kentucky gets to say it has made a bit of progress that some other states can only talk about.
Kentucky has three colleges that play football at the highest level of NCAA, the Football Bowl Division. These are the University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, and Western Kentucky University (the newest member of the FBS – Go Hilltoppers! We’re Number 120!).
All three of these schools are known far more for basketball than football with UK being the winningest college basketball program of all time, WKU the 14th winningest, and UL the seventeenth winningest program. All three schools have traditionally dominated their conferences in basketball.
Today though, all three schools are taking the lead in another area with their football programs. You see, each of these schools will have an African American as the head football coach starting this year. Joker Phillips at UK is a Kentucky native and graduate. Charlie Strong comes to Louisville from Florida where he had been the Defensive Coordinator. Willie Taggart is a Florida native and WKU grad returning to lead the program he lead as quarterback.
Are any of these schools going to be in the BCS game next year? Probably safe to say no and bet accordingly. But there are 120 colleges in the FBS with 12 of them having African American head coaches and three of those programs are in the Bluegrass. We natives of the Bluegrass don’t always get to lead on issues and as trivial as sports are in the overall scheme of things, it still is a wonder when we are the trailblazers.