The Miami Dolphins announced Sunday night the hiring of Mike McDaniel as the team’s head coach, replacing Brian Flores, who was fired after the regular season wrapped and later initiated a class-action lawsuit against the league alleging racial discrimination in its hiring practices.
McDaniel, 38, was most recently the offensive coordinator of San Francisco 49ers, which advanced to the NFC championship game this season before losing to the Los Angeles Rams.
Since joining the 49ers in 2017, he served as the team’s run game coordinator and run game specialist, according to the team’s website, and earlier was part of the coaching staff of the Atlanta Falcons’ squad in the 2016-17 season that advanced to Super Bowl LI.
McDaniel is also multiracial, making him the first head coach of color hired this cycle.
Flores, who is Black, sued the Dolphins organization earlier this week along with the NFL and two other NFL teams alleging racial discrimination.
The 58-page lawsuit castigates the culture of the NFL and the Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview two external minority candidates for head coaching positions. The lawsuit says the rule hasn’t worked to increase the hiring of coaches of color.
The NFL and all three teams deny wrongdoing, with the league calling the allegations “meritless.”
Roughly 70% of the players in the NFL are Black, yet only one head coach in the league – Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers – is Black. There are two other non-Black minority coaches – one of Puerto Rican and Mexican descent and one of Lebanese descent.
CNN’s David J. Lopez contributed to this report.