Jim Caldwell set to be honored in Detroit

Posted Jul 25, 2014

Head coach Jim Caldwell will be honored Friday night by the Historical Society’s Black Historic Sites Committee for being the first African-American head coach in Lions history.

Head coach Jim Caldwellis the first African American head coach in the history of the Detroit Lions and he's being honored as such by the Historical Society’s Black

Jim CaldwellHead coach Jim Caldwell (Photo: Detroit Lions)

Each year, this event recognizes African American firsts in all fields of endeavor. The 2014 honorees include Caldwell, Broadside Press, Aubrey W. Lee Sr., Clara Stanton Jones and Fannie Richards (posthumous).

“As I have stated before, I understand and greatly appreciate the historical significance of my position with the Detroit Lions, but my place pales in comparison to others who have been “firsts” in our city,” Caldwell said.

“When I look at this year’s honorees and those from previous years, I am both honored and humbled to be included among such a distinguished and historical group.

“I am in awe of people like Miss Fannie Richards, one of this year’s honorees, who in the 1860s became the first African American teacher ever in Detroit and then in the early 1870’s she was the first-ever kindergarten teacher in Detroit.  Imagine all the lives, black and white, she inspired and impacted during her 44 years as a teacher in Detroit.”

Caldwell was previously the offensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens (2012-13), head coach for the Indianapolis Colts (2009-2011) and also served as head coach at Wake Forest University (1993-2000), where he was the first African American head coach in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The Black Historic Sites Committee of the Detroit Historical Society, founded in 1971, promotes a greater understanding of the contributions of African Americans to the history of Detroit and the state of Michigan.


What: Historical Society’s Black Historic Sites Committee 43rd Anniversary Gala

When: Friday night; 5:30 p.m. VIP meet and greet; 6:45 p.m. strolling dinner; 7:30 p.m. awards program

Where: The Detroit Historical Museum, located at 5401 Woodward Ave. (NW corner of Kirby) in Midtown Detroit

Tickets: VIP tickets are $100, standard tickets are $50 for Society and Black Historic Sites Committee members and $60. For tickets or more information, visit or call 313-833-1262.