In his 14-year career as a college football coach, Tracy Rocker never paid much attention to the color of the faces that surrounded him.
A few were black. Most were white. As a black man, Rocker had gotten used to it. He said it never really bothered him because he wasn’t keeping score.
So when new Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt assembled his first staff meeting in Oxford, skin color was the last thing on Rocker’s mind. The new defensive line coach walked into the Indoor Practice Facility, settled into his seat, and then looked around the room.
What he saw stunned him.
“I remember looking left, looking right, and then saying ‘Well, damn!” Rocker said. “There was a lot of black faces in that room. Nobody really knew until we sat down and looked at each other.”