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Football History Made During Black History Month

Indianapolis Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy and Chicago Bears Head Coach Lovie Smith made history in the National Football League on Sunday, February 4th, when they led their respective football teams onto the field at Dolphin Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, to compete in Super Bowl XLI. They became the first African-American head coaches to participate in professional football's premier game. The Colts prevailed, 29-17. It is appropriate that this most-watched American sports event took place during the nation's celebration of Black History Month.

The University of Massachusetts also has a claim to making coaching history back in 1904, when Dartmouth College graduate, Matthew Washington Bullock, the first African-American to play football at Dartmouth and the second to play in the Ivy League, was named head football coach at Massachusetts Agricultural College (Mass Aggie), the precursor to today's University of Massachusetts. Bullock was also the first African-American to be named head coach at a predominantly white college.

In addition, MacDaniel Singleton is believed to be the first African-American to head a college football team in New England since 1904, when Bullock coached at Massachusetts Agricultural College. Boston State College merged with UMass Boston in 1982.

2/5/07

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