The NCAA has invited 12 football coaches and eight directors of athletics from Division I intercollegiate programs to its 2012 Champion Forum, the top tier of the NCAA’s coaching academy programs. The Champion Forum will be held June 26-28 in Dallas, in conjunction with the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) convention.
The Champion Forum features a select group of football coaches who are identified as ready to step into a head football coaching position at an NCAA college or university. The Atlantic Coast, Big East, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and Southeastern Conferences, along with the National Football League also serve as program organizers and sponsors, and help select the participants.
“The Champion Forum introduces the football coaches to individuals and processes that they otherwise might not have known or been exposed to,” said Robert Vowels, vice president for NCAA student-athlete affairs. “Networks are critical when seeking a head coaching position. We’ve seen progress in minority hiring at the head coach level in football, however, there is still work to do. The forum exposes underrepresented numbers to key networks in football which ultimately may help balance the diversity in the head coaching ranks.”
During the forum, President Gary Ransdell at Western Kentucky University, the football coaches, directors of athletics and invited administrators and speakers will have time to develop professional relationships in a one-on-one environment. There will be simulated interview sessions, keynote speaker presentations, instruction on working with search firms, media training, NCAA enforcement guidance, and opportunities to discuss key aspects of becoming a head football coach in a more informal, private setting. The list of speakers includes NCAA, athletic conference and NFL administrators, current head coaches and business affiliates.
Through the forum, the football coaches will have an opportunity to gain a better understanding of a number of issues and topics. These include the thought process of a director of athletics who is hiring a coach; the intricacies of being a head football coach at a college or university; how to best utilize outside resources, such as search firms; and how to manage a message when engaging in media and public speaking opportunities. They’ll also have time to meet with speakers to discuss their experiences and expertise.
The football coaches selected for the Champion Forum are:
Harlon Barnett, secondary coach, Michigan State University
Torrian Gray, defensive secondary coach, Virginia Tech University
Pep Hamilton, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Stanford University
Vernon Hargreaves, special teams coordinator/defensive ends coach, University of South Florida
Greg Knox, running backs coach, Mississippi State University
Derek Mason, associate head coach/defensive coordinator, Stanford University
George McDonald, passing game coordinator/wide receivers coach, University of Miami
Reggie Mitchell, running backs coach/recruiting coordinator, University of Kansas
Daron Roberts, cornerbacks coach, West Virginia University
Michael Smith, wide receivers coach, Kansas State University
Dennis Springer, wide receivers coach, Northwestern University
Lorenzo Ward, defensive coordinator, University of South Carolina
The directors of athletics selected for the Champion Forum are:
Greg Byrne, University of Arizona
Jeff Long, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
Whit Babcock, University of Cincinnati
John Currie, Kansas State University
Ross Bjork, University of Mississippi
Jim Phillips, Northwestern University
Doug Woolard, University of South Florida
Chris Del Conte, Texas Christian University