Bucs’ coaching staff makes history


Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy was the first black head coach to win a Super Bowl when the Colts won in 2007.

Zion Brown, sports editor

When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV on Sunday, they made history.

Tampa Bay’s four main assistant coaches and coordinators are all black. Harold Goodwin, Byron Leftwich, Todd Bowles, and Keith Armstrong all made history by being the first coaching staff in NFL history to accomplish this.

It was fitting for this accomplishment to occur during Black History Month. These assistants joined many Black coaches and executives to etch their name in sports history.

Tony Dungy

From 2002-2008, Tony Dungy was the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. In February 2007, the Colts played the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI. The Bears were coached by Lovie Smith, another Black head coach. Whichever team won would represent the first African-American head coach to win a Super Bowl. The Colts ended up defeating the Bears, 29-17. In 2016, Dungy was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 

Ozzie Newsome

Hall of Fame tight end Ozzie Newsome played 13 seasons for the Cleveland Browns. Post-retirement, Newsome decided to become an executive and in 2002 the Baltimore Ravens made Newsome the first Black general manager in NFL history. Newsome drafted multiple Pro Bowlers in his time as GM and in 2013 his Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII. Newsome resigned in 2018.

Bill Russell

Bill Russell is one of the greatest basketball players ever. As a player, Russell won 11 NBA championships with the Boston Celtics. When Celtics head coach Red Auerbach retired in 1966 and became GM, he passed the coaching role onto Russell, who was still a player at the time. Russell was the first Black head coach in league history and in 1968 and 1969, he led Boston to two championships before retiring from both positions. Russell went on to have short stints as a coach for the Seattle Supersonics and the Sacramento Kings. Bill Russell has continued to be a social rights activist to this day.

Wayne Embry

In 1972 the Milwaulkee Bucks made Wayne Embry the first Black general manager ever in the NBA. Embry was eventually the GM of the Cleveland Cavaliers from 1986-1999, where he was recognized as NBA Executive of the Year in 1992 and 1998. He has been a senior basketball advisor for the Toronto Raptors since 2006. In 2019, the Raptors won their first-ever NBA championship and Embry earned his first ring as a front office member.

Frank Robinson

Frank Robinson became a player-manager for the Cleveland Indians in 1975. This made Frank Robinson the first Black manager the MLB ever saw. Robinson, who has hit the tenth most home runs in MLB history, won two MVPs and two World Series as a player. He also served as a manager for the Giants, Orioles, and Expos (Nationals). Robinson won AL Manager of the Year in 1989 with the Baltimore Orioles. In 2019, Robinson passed away at age 83.