You are here

Board of Governors Diversity and Inclusion Programming Impact

In January 2016, the NCAA Board of Governors adopted a resolution to promote diversity and inclusion in athletics. In response to research findings on the barriers faced by ethnic minorities in the industry, the Association began a push to enhance the pipeline for racial diversity in coaching and athletics administration. Out of that push came three NCAA Leadership Development programs: The Minority Coaches Series, the Achieving Communication Success Workshop and the Leadership Education Series.

Since the inaugural classes of each program in 2016 and 2017, more than 100 administrators and coaches have been provided professional development and educational opportunities in efforts to help advance their careers in college athletics.

Minority Coaches Series

A yearlong professional development program for female assistant coaches in women’s basketball, volleyball, and track and field, the Minority Coaches Series has engaged more than 40 coaches from the membership. The series has transformed the careers of its participants, preparing them for head coaching positions.

“The program was outstanding. It presented a different perspective than other professional development opportunities available. My learning of strategy and problem solving played a major role in getting the head coaching job at Lafayette.

“We spent a couple hours thinking strategically through what problems contribute to a program not being successful. There are a lot of other areas outside of talent that contribute to that lack of success. It made me think: When you take over a program, what will be your response to those problems to fix them? The Minority Coaches Series showed me how to think strategically about solutions to those problems in how to prepare for them.”

— Kia Damon, Head women’s basketball coach, Lafayette, Minority Coaches Series 2017

Achieving Communication Success Workshop

The three-day workshop encourages participants to step outside their comfort zones and dig deep through effective communication training. The workshop has helped senior-level administrators perfect their personal narrative and deliver strategic messaging in preparation for athletics director roles.

“The Achieving Communications Success Workshop was a tremendous asset for me. It was easily the best and most valuable training I participated in prior to becoming an athletics director. The team of trainers led by Wally Renfro and Bob Williams was exceptional. Not until this workshop was I truly able to tell my story, and I owe that to the staff.”

— Carla Williams, Director of athletics, Virginia, Achieving Communication Success Workshop April 2017

Leadership Education

The Leadership Education program has offered two cohorts of midlevel athletics administrators a year’s worth of comprehensive learning. Through two in-person sessions, the series provides participants with a clear understanding of senior-level responsibilities and new skill sets to apply as they advance their careers.

“The Leadership Education Series was a transformative experience. It provided me the opportunity to look at my work a different way through collaboration with other departments and preparing for presentations to university leadership. I learned a lot about how I interact with others in the workplace and that while fundraising and development professionals are bold and sometimes make irrational decisions, our counterparts in the business and finance offices think more methodically. I walked away from the program a better leader with more effective management skills, an understanding of how people work and a greater sense of compassion.”

— Haven Fields, Associate athletics director, development, Illinois, Leadership Education 2018