The group will aim to identify and groom male and female coaches of color and help create paths toward upward mobility within the profession.
"When I took the Maryland job last year and looked at the landscape of college football, I thought to myself, 'There's something missing. I'm on the back nine of my career and the pathway to becoming a head coach is still as difficult as when I got into the business in 1992,'" Locksley said Wednesday. "I wanted to create an organization that would be able to help prepare, promote, and produce the next group of coaches coming up through the ranks at every level."
The NCMFC's board of directors includes marquee names such as former Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome, who was the first Black general manager in the NFL; two-time Super Bowl-winning Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin; and six-time national title-winning Alabama head coach Nick Saban.
"These are all people that have either hired head coaches or coordinators or filled upper-level positions throughout their careers," said Locksley, who is entering his second year at Maryland. "They all have been at the top of the mountain, per se, in their respective areas .... We want to use their experiences to help us formulate and produce the list of qualified candidates, so when people say there aren't enough minorities to fill the positions that have come open over the years, we're going to produce a list of qualified people that shows there are qualified people. What's needed is opportunities."
The lack of diversity among NFL head coaches and general managers came under greater scrutiny this offseason after a hiring cycle that saw just one minority candidate, Ron Rivera, earn a head coaching role with the Washington Football Team. The Cleveland Browns also hired Andrew Berry, making him only the second Black general manager in the league.
There are currently only three Black head coaches among the NFL's 32 teams. Across college football's 130 teams, there are just 14 Black head coaches.
In response, the NFL enhanced the Rooney Rule. Now, clubs will now be required to interview at least two external minority candidates for head coaching jobs, one minority candidate for any coordinator vacancies, and one external minority candidate for senior football operations or general manager positions.