April 6, 2006
Providence, RI - The first two recipients of the Fritz Pollard Award - Paul Hewitt, the head men's basketball coach at Georgia Tech (2004), and Lorenzo Romar, the head men's basketball coach at the University of Washington (2005) - were honored at a symposium Wednesday evening at Sayles Hall, on the Brown campus.
The Fritz Pollard Award is presented annually by the Black Coaches Association to its Coach of the Year in honor of Fritz Pollard, Brown Class of 1919, and a true pioneer in the battle for racial equality. A swift running back, Pollard led Brown to its first Rose Bowl appearance in 1916, and went on to become the first black quarterback and first African-American head coach in the National Football League.
Hewitt and Romar took part in an open discussion with Providence Journal college basketball writer Kevin McNamara of a wide array of topics, including some the obstacles they encountered on their way to their current positions, the paucity of minority coaches in college and professional sports, their love of coaching, the parity in college basketball, role models in their lives, the increased role of parent's in an athlete's life, and the impact of the new NBA eligibility rules on the college game.
The evening's events were kicked-off by Michael Goldberger, Brown's Director of Athletics, and included some remarks by Floyd Keith, the Executive Director of the Black Coaches Association. There was also a presentation about Fritz Pollard by Brown archivist Peter Mackie `59, followed by a video detailing Pollard's contribution to society and induction into the Professional Hall of Fame, and introductions of Hewitt and Romar by Dennis Coleman, Brown Class of 1975 and a partner in the law firm of Ropes and Gray.