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Malcolm Glazer's legacy in hiring head coaches

Malcolm Glazer did something no other owner has ever done.

Scott Halleran

We've discussed Malcolm Glazer's legacy several times since his passing last week, but one thing we haven't highlighted was his record in hiring head coaches. Peter King does just that in today's MMQB, noting that he's the only owner to have ever hired three Afircan-American head coaches.

"Yes, it is notable,'' Dungy said over the weekend. "He hired me when there was still trepidation by some people. And he may not have made the final decision on Lovie but he set the tone in the organization and he put the mindset in his sons to look at people impartially. He and I had many conversations about relationships and how you treat others. That was very important to him."

More than an individual record, it's also a team record: the Buccaneers are the only franchise to ever hire three African-American head coaches -- something Lovie Smith highlighted back in January. Of course, it should be noted that Glazer was the owner of the Buccaneers for the last two of those hires in Raheem Morris and Lovie Smith, he wasn't actively managing the team at that time.

Still, the fact that, despite owning an NFL team for just 19 years, Malcolm Glazer single-handedly turned the Bucs into the only team to ever hire three African-American head coaches should show you how exceptional his approach was. The Rooney Rule only mandates interviews of minority head coaches, not hires, and it has led to a boost in minority head coaching hires from 6% in 2002 to 22% in 2006 (per a New York University Law Review study cited on Wikipedia). That kind of rule wasn't necessary for Malcolm Glazer.

In fact, Malcolm Glazer's legacy as an NFL owner is (more or less) exemplary. He kept the team in its hometown. He managed the construction of an upper-tier stadium (with a sweetheart deal from the locale, true), turned the laughing stock of the NFL into one of the most feared teams in the league, and won a Super Bowl. Here's to hoping his sons can get the team back to a place befitting his legacy.