Video: Glenn Jones & Khano Smith On NBC10

[Written by Stephen Wright]

Khano Smith has shared his thoughts with Bermudian journalist Glenn Jones on being the only Black football head coach in the USL Championship.

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Smith was recently interviewed by the NBC10 Boston News anchor about his appointment as head coach and general manager at Rhode Island FC.

The 43-year-old believes improvements are being made to fix underrepresentation in the United States game.

“[Rhode Island] hired me because they thought I was the best candidate and had the personality traits of a coach they were looking for,” Smith told NBC10 Boston News.

“I don’t want to be given anything because of my race. Ultimately, I just want a fair chance to go and improve myself.

“I’m involved in groups now with both leagues [the Major League Soccer]. They’re certainly trying to provide more opportunities, for underrepresented groups.

“And that happens to be Black coaches, as well as female coaches and Latino coaches.”

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Smith, a former Bermuda national team winger, admits the majority, if not all, his players have never previously worked under a Black coach.

“It’s a cool feeling to know one day when their careers are done, they will look back and I was the first Black coach they ever played for,” he said.

Brett Luy, the Rhode Island president, told NBC10 Boston News: “Khano was top of the heap [of candidates], and rightfully so. He was the first name I put forward to the ownership group.”

Smith started his career at Premier Division side Dandy Town before turning professional with MLS franchise, the New England Revolution, and also had stints at the New York Red Bulls and English lower-league club Lincoln City.

He served as an assistant coach at the Southern New Hampshire University, Orlando Pride in the National Women’s Soccer League and the Birmingham Region in the US Championship.

Rhode Island are eleventh in the table, with four points from five matches this season.

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