Harold Goodwin: Steve Wilks' Firing 'Hurt' Given Lack of Black HC Hires in NFL

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 12, 2019

New Tampa Bay Buccaneers assistant head coach and run game coordinator Harold Goodwin during a news conference Friday, Jan. 11, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

Tampa Bay Buccaneers assistant head coach and run-game coordinator Harold Goodwin was not pleased to see his old team fire Steve Wilks after the 2018 campaign.

"That hurt a little bit," Goodwin, who was the offensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals from 2013 through 2017, said, per Jenna Laine of ESPN.com. "He's a friend of mine. We worked together back in the day with the Bears. It's hard to build something from the ground up with one year. It's like, 'Hey, I want you to start this Fortune 500 company, but you've got one year.' That's impossible. And that's what he was tasked with. But God will look after him. He'll be OK in the long run and hopefully he'll get another opportunity."

Laine noted six of the eight head coaching vacancies have been filled this offseason, and not a single one of the jobs went to minority candidates.

Goodwin suggested teams aren't taking the Rooney Rule, which requires front offices to interview at least one minority candidate should their head coaching and general manager positions come open, seriously.

"I will give credit to two owners—the [Buffalo Bills' Terry] Pegula and [Jacksonville Jaguars'] Shad Khan—they were actually in the interview," Goodwin said. "I can't say that about the others. So those were real interviews. I appreciated that opportunity."

Goodwin also pointed to issues he has run into while interviewing for head coaching positions, including the fact he didn't call plays during the regular season when Bruce Arians was the head coach of the Cardinals.

The small amount of minority coaches in the NFL has come under the spotlight for more than just the lack of hires this offseason.

Five black head coaches were fired during the 2018 campaign—Wilks, Hue Jackson, Todd Bowles, Marvin Lewis and Vance Joseph—and not one of them have been picked up as a head coach on a different team. The only remaining black head coaches in the league are Anthony Lynn of the Los Angeles Chargers and Mike Tomlin on the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"There are only 32 head jobs in the league," Bowles, who is now the Buccaneers defensive coordinator, said, per Laine. "There [are] a lot of people who feel like they're being discriminated against and there [are] a lot of people that don't get the chance, regardless of race. You just have to coach your hardest and do your best. If the opportunity comes up, and you have a chance to grab it, you grab it. If not, you be the best coach you can be." 

Goodwin and Bowles will look to help Arians lead the Buccaneers back to the postseason as assistant coaches.

Tampa Bay hasn't been to the playoffs since the 2007 campaign and fired Dirk Koetter after he went just 19-29 in three seasons at the helm.

Related

    49ers May Give Up 2020 Home Game to Play in China

    NFL logo
    NFL

    49ers May Give Up 2020 Home Game to Play in China

    Kyle Newport
    via Bleacher Report

    Robert Kraft Pleads Not Guilty, Asks for Jury Trial

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Robert Kraft Pleads Not Guilty, Asks for Jury Trial

    Adam Wells
    via Bleacher Report

    Kingsbury Loves Kyler’s Game

    'He's one of the better dual threat players to ever play'

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Kingsbury Loves Kyler’s Game

    'He's one of the better dual threat players to ever play'

    Timothy Rapp
    via Bleacher Report

    Worst-Case Scenarios Every Team Must Avoid in 2019

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Worst-Case Scenarios Every Team Must Avoid in 2019

    Kristopher Knox
    via Bleacher Report