NCAA Position

The NCAA believes in the values of diversity and inclusion. Although it has made progress in increasing the diversity of the membership and generating opportunities within intercollegiate athletics for individuals of all backgrounds, the Association’s leadership recognizes there is more work to be done. The diversity and inclusion staff at the national office aims to centralize efforts concerning diversity and inclusion, serve as a point of contact for related concerns and assist the membership in developing initiatives that will lead to increased diversity and inclusion throughout intercollegiate athletics.


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Publish date: Jun 14, 2011

NCAA invites football coaches and athletics directors to Champion Forum

2011 Champion Forum

Football coaches selected:

  • Michael Barrow, University of Miami, linebackers coach and special teams coordinator
  • Kerry Cooks, University of Notre Dame, secondary coach
  • Lawrence Dawsey, Florida State University, wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator
  • Gary Emanuel, Purdue University, defensive coordinator
  • William Inge, University of Buffalo, defensive coordinator/linebackers coach
  • Brian Stewart, University of Houston, defensive coordinator
  • Joel Thomas, University of Washington, running backs coach

Athletics directors and executive administrators selected:

  • Chris Del Conte, Texas Christian University
  • Rick Dickson, Tulane University
  • Dan Guerrero, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Craig Littlepage, University of Virginia
  • Lisa Love, Arizona State University
  • Joel Maturi, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
  • Jon Oliver, University of Virginia

The NCAA has invited football coaches, athletics directors and several speakers from the membership and the NFL to its 2011 Champion Forum, the top tier of the NCAA’s coaching academy programs. The Champion Forum will be held June 16-17 in Orlando, Fla., in conjunction with the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) convention.

The Champion Forum features a select group of football coaches who have been identified as potential candidates for head football coaching positions at NCAA colleges or universities. The coaches, who were selected by athletics administrators, are generally ethnic minorities who have completed the NCAA Expert program.

During the Forum, the coaches, athletics directors and speakers will have time to develop professional relationships in a more informal, private setting. There will be simulated interview sessions, media training, keynote speakers, and opportunities to discuss key topics such as understanding and developing culture within their team and the athletics department and effectively engaging with the campus and academic staff after becoming a head football coach.

Through the Forum, the football coaches will have an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the search process and the steps taken by search firms and athletics directors when preparing to hire head football coaches to lead intercollegiate programs. In turn, the athletics directors and administrators will have opportunities to meet, interact and become better acquainted with the football coaches; become “champions” by assisting with the coaches’ continued career growth; and broaden their outlook on potential minority head coaching prospects within the NCAA.

“The Champion Forum is instrumental because it 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. Though we’ve seen some progress in minority hiring at the head coach level in football, we still attempt to expose individuals from underrepresented groups to those key networks in football because it may help balance the coaching numbers.”

In addition to the Champion Forum, the NCAA Leadership Development group also administers the Future Coaches Academy for student-athletes who want to learn more about the football coaching field; the NFL-NCAA Football Coaches Academy (position coaches); and the Expert Forum (coordinators and assistant/associate head coaches). The NCAA created its Coaching Academies in 2004.

Currently, there are 18 ethnic minority coaches throughout the 120 Division I FBS schools; 10 ethnic minority coaches at the 101 Division I FCS schools; four ethnic minority coaches at the 133 Division II schools and nine ethnic minority coaches at the 229 Division III schools. The figures do not include Historically Black Colleges and Universities.