Ever since he was young, coach KJ Black has lived and breathed football. Whether it be on or off the field, Black has built quite the resume for himself.
Coach Black led Prairie View A&M University to a SWAC championship as their starting quarterback back in 2009 and won MVP of the championship game. He also accomplished record setting feats as an assistant coach for Prairie View A&M and impressed many as a quarterback and co-offensive coordinator for Florida A&M University. One of the many parties intrigued by coach Black’s success was none other than the Los Angeles Rams and head coach Sean McVay.
Now coach Black will be taking the next steps in his career and will join the defending super bowl champion Los Angeles Rams this upcoming offseason as a part of the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship program.
A Resume that speaks for itself
On the field, coach Black proved he was nothing short of exceptional. In his two-year career as the quarterback for Prairie View A&M, he passed for 4,187 yards and 35 touchdowns with only 9 interceptions.
Black transitioned to impacting the game off the field in 2015, when Willie Simmons, who at the time served as the head coach for Prairie View A&M’s football program, brought Black onto his coaching staff. According to pvpanthers.com, in 2017 Prairie View A&M quarterbacks under the instruction of coach Black combined to pass for nearly 2,900 yards, the most yards in a single season the program had seen since 2013. When coach Simmons took the head coaching position at Florida A&M in 2017, he made sure to bring coach Black with him, who immediately made an impact on the program.
“He was very integral to the operations,” said coach Simmons. “Coaching the quarterback position, obviously that position drives the car so to speak, make’s everything go. Him having hands on experience with those guys every day and teaching them exactly what to do to be successful, it was very paramount for our success.”
According to espn.com, during Black’s tenure at Florida A&M University, Ryan Stanley, starting quarterback at Florida A&M during the 2018 and 2019 seasons, had a passer rating of 131.2 in 2018 and 146.6 in 2019, along with 40 passing touchdowns and over 5,000 passing yards.
Fighting for next up
Black’s time as a coach on the collegiate level was impressive. But now, coach Black will move on to make a name for himself at the professional level.
The challenge of cracking into the NFL as a coach or in an organizational role has been a difficult task for minorities. According to Touchdown Wire, only 8% of NFL offensive coordinators are Black, and only 29% of NFL defensive coordinators are black.
Despite this, Black pushes on, using the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship program as his avenue to highlight not only his coaching ability, but his ability to connect with others and bring the best out people.
“He’s a man of character, hard worker, and you see that shine through in his work,” said Florida A&M running back coach Joseph Henry. “He rubs off on his players, and you see the same thing in them as well. He does a great job of holding them accountable and he brings great ideas to the staff and meeting rooms. He is a cosmic professional, and the way he carries himself and his life shows in his work.”
The Los Angeles Rams will begin their training camp on July 28, where they look to defend their title in the upcoming season.