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Athletics administrators set for NCAA Leadership Institute

20 promising leaders will hone skills for potential advancement in athletics

Twenty minority and female administrators, committed to advancing their careers in college athletics, have been selected to participate in the 2017 NCAA Leadership Institute.

A committee composed of members from the Association — a group that includes current administrators and past seminar participants across all NCAA divisions — selected the participants.

Through the institute, the NCAA leadership development staff provides professional development programming over the course of a calendar year, including one-week programs at the beginning and conclusion of that year.  For the administrators who participate, the program offers an opportunity to gain insight into every facet of an athletics department, preparing them to become well-rounded leaders who are equipped with the tools an effective athletics administrator needs.

“The Leadership Institute is an unmatched opportunity, exposing qualified minority athletics administrators to the latest information and robust experiences, delivered by practiced experts in the field,” said Bernard Franklin, NCAA executive vice president of education and community engagement and chief inclusion officer. “Administrators who complete the program not only gain technical knowledge, but graduate with confidence and quality decision-making skills.”

The participants gather July 7-15 in Tampa, Florida, for the first in-person sessions. Participants enhance and master skill sets while also exploring and planning for future career goals and paths. In addition, they take part in continuing education activities throughout the year and have access to an extensive alumni group.

Nineteen athletics administrators also will be in Florida to complete their second in-person programming session and participate in a recognition ceremony at the end of the week with many institute alumni in attendance.

“Anytime I go to hire someone, I call that alumni network,” said Anton Goff, athletics director at St. John’s (New York) and a member of the institute’s first class in 2000 (then called the Ethnic Minority Males Institute). “When I have a challenge, I talk to my colleagues and say, ‘How have you dealt with this issue?’ whether it’s cost of attendance or Title IX implications. There’s a lot of men and women I know that have been through this program, and they all help me be a better athletics administrator.”

NCAA leadership development, located in Indianapolis, coordinates and facilitates education and training for student-athletes, coaches and athletics administrators. The staff annually hosts programs, at little or no cost to members, using expert curriculum designed to enhance the well-being and personal development of college athletes. The staff also provides ongoing education and topical training to athletics professionals who identify and serve student-athlete needs. For more information, visit

2017 NCAA Leadership Institute participants

J.P. Abercrumbie
Assistant athletics director for life skills and community engagement
Mississippi State
Neema Connor
Director of compliance / senior woman administrator
  Eastern Shore
Demetreus Darden
Assistant athletics director for academic services, director of football academics
Miami (Florida)
Stephon Fuqua
Senior athletics academic counselor
Ohio State
Reyna Gilbert-Lowry
Senior associate athletics director of student-athlete development
Virginia Tech
Kortne Gosha
Associate athletics director of operations
Middle Tennessee
Taurian Houston
Assistant athletics director for compliance
Chris Jones
Director of development for athletics
Shamika Kentish
Assistant director of athletics for compliance
Missouri State
Jayson Ameer Rasheed
Director of athletics communications
Wilmington (Ohio)
Alexiss Robinson
Coordinator of diversity and achievement in athletics
Ben Rodriguez
Director of student-athlete welfare and development
University of Central Florida
Juliana Smith
Director of human resources
John Stephenson
Assistant director of compliance monitoring
Tiffany Tucker
Director of sponsorships and governance
John Tweedy
Director of event management
Jerry Vaughn
Associate director of academic and membership affairs
Natasha Wilson
Associate athletics director / compliance coordinator / senior woman administrator
Johnson C. Smith
Michael Woo
Academic coordinator
Georgia Tech
Quintin Wright
Assistant director of academic and membership affairs