A theme has emerged in recent weeks as college athletes have begun to speak out against racial inequality both inside and outside their locker rooms.


At Oklahoma State, star running back Chuba Hubbard threatened to step away from the team after coach Mike Gundy was photographed wearing a T-shirt with the logo of the controversial OAN television network.


At Iowa, long-time football strength coach Chris Doyle left the program after facing widespread accusations of bullying and disparagement by former players, particularly Black men.


At Clemson, football coach Dabo Swinney had to defend how he dealt with assistant Danny Pearman uttering a racial slur during a 2017 practice.


All three of those coaches are white.


Even many of the positive stories of college coaches supporting their Black athletes — like Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops leading a Black Lives Matters march for his team in Lexington — have centered around white coaches.


All too often absent from the conversation about college sports and race have been Black head coaches.


Not because they are silent, but mostly because colleges still have woeful records of hiring Black coaches, especially at the highest levels across the Power Five conferences.


To gain a better understanding of the racial makeup of college coaches, The Courier Journal, part of the USA TODAY Network, counted the Black head coaches and other head coaches of color in each Power Five athletic department (including Notre Dame, which is a member of the ACC in basketball), then confirmed the numbers with each school.


Washington State, Duke and Iowa declined to confirm the racial demographics of their head coaches, and Miami did not respond to multiple emails.


Of the 1,073 head coaches in NCAA sports at Power Five programs, only 79, or 7.4%, are Black.


Of the 65 Power Five schools, 15 do not employ a single Black head coach in any NCAA sport, though seven of those schools do have at least one other head coach of color.


Alabama, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Iowa State, Texas Tech and Washington State do not list any head coaches of color on their online staff directories. All but six Power Five programs have two or fewer Black head coaches.


In Kentucky, the University of Louisville has just one Black coach, women's tennis coach Mark Beckham, and two other minority head coaches. The University of Kentucky has one Black head coach, track and cross country coach Lonnie Greene, and one other minority coach.


Meanwhile, 19% of athletes in the Power Five conferences were Black in the 2018-19 school year, according to the most recent data available in the NCAA’s demographics database.


Representation for Black athletes among their head coaches continues to lag in the NCAA and especially the Power Five conferences.


"I like to think that in the best-case scenario that we hire who we feel comfortable with. That’s not a bad thing," Missouri men’s basketball coach Cuonzo Martin, who is Black, said. "The other part is, if you were raised a certain way to think that someone is less than you, how do you hire them in a position that is equal to you? If you thought they were less than you, how do you hire them to a position that takes intellect, experience, understanding, knowledge?


"… That’s hard to do, and that’s why I think we must be diligent and deliberate in our hiring practices, building our programs and continuing the growth. You have to be able to see the numbers over a course of time."


Only one sport has more than 15 Power Five Black head coaches — track and field.


Football has 11 Black head coaches, women’s basketball has 12 and men’s basketball has just eight Power Five Black head coaches — despite the sport being dominated by Black athletes.


According to the NCAA, 51% of men’s basketball players in the Power Five conferences were Black in 2019.


That’s a disparity that is concerning to many, including Martin.


In Kentucky, one of Louisville coach Chris Mack's three full-time assistants is Black, Mike Pegues. At UK, two of coach John Calipari's three full-time assistants are Black, Kenny Payne and Tony Barbee.


"We’re basically not far from where we were 20 years ago," said Richard Lapchick, the director of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida, which publishes an annual Racial and Gender Report Card for each American professional sports league and the NCAA. "The numbers for head basketball coaches, men’s basketball coaches of color, are literally within a percentage point of where they were in 2004, which is the first year we did the modern Racial and Gender Report Card.


"Football coaches are about flat. When you go to other sports obviously, there are even less coaches of color represented. Women’s basketball is doing a little better than 20 years ago, but it was doing awful 20 years ago."


It takes no time for Greene, who oversees all six Wildcat track and cross country teams, to rattle off a list of the many Black coaches who have developed national championship contenders in his sport, including former UK coach Edrick Floreal, who now coaches at Texas. But he thinks Black coaches still face greater scrutiny.


"Is that an easy job for them? No, because in my mind we’re analyzed a little deeper, under the microscope," Greene said. "We don’t have room for error, we don’t have room for mistakes. … In my experience, in my time, it isn’t easy."


The number of Black head coaches drops off substantially in the remaining sports around the country. There are three coaches of color in women's soccer, softball, volleyball, women's tennis and wrestling; two in gymnastics and one in baseball, beach volleyball, men’s soccer, fencing, men’s tennis and swimming and diving.


The Courier Journal also asked Power Five schools to share any diversity hiring initiatives within their athletics department.


Several noted the creation of positions within the senior leadership staff focused on diversity or diversity and inclusion committees. Many of the schools with no Black head coaches acknowledged work to be done in their athletic departments in improving diversity.


A Texas spokesman told The Courier Journal the Longhorns have adopted a policy similar to the NFL’s Rooney Rule, requiring minority candidates to be interviewed for job openings.


Oregon and Oregon State are subject to a state law requiring qualified minority candidates to be interviewed for head coach or athletic director openings.


Martin, though, isn’t a fan of the Rooney Rule. "It shouldn’t be whether it’s male, female, white, Black or brown, all right, then I’ll decide how you're paid. That shouldn’t matter."


Lapchick has proposed college sports adopt its own version of the Rooney Rule, which he calls the Eddie Robinson Rule in honor of the legendary Black football coach from Grambling State.


That rule would require two candidates of color be interviewed for each position at the senior levels of athletic department administration, as well as mandatory representation across genders in the hiring process.


"I think the thing that is going to make the difference now as opposed to everything that’s happened before and gives me hope is the voices of athletes are being raised," Lapchick said. "I think that’s going to be an irresistible force on some college campuses to bring about the changes that are being asked for.


"… We have a moment in time where we can really bring about change here. If we miss this opportunity, it might not come along again for a long time."