LEAD1 Association Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Working Group to Release Actionable Recommendations to Increase Senior Diverse Leadership in FBS College Sports During First Week of January 2021

The working group’s recommendations come at a critical time as there are several notable FBS athletic director and head coaching jobs open.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The LEAD1 Association (“LEAD1”), which represents the athletics directors of the 130-member schools of the Football Bowl Subdivision (“FBS”), today announced that it will release its actionable recommendations to increase senior diverse leadership in FBS college sports, in the form of a white paper, during the first week of 2021.

In late August 2020, LEAD1 created a working group, co-chaired by Sean Frazier, the Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics at Northern Illinois University, and Dr. China Jude, the Senior Associate AD and SWA at the University of Wyoming, to explore initiatives to strengthen senior leadership pipelines, expand professional development opportunities, influence legislation that supports underrepresented populations and recommend strategies of accountability. The working group was divided into five subcommittees including: (1) Hiring, Retention, and Advancement; (2) Training, Education, and Mentorships; (3) Strategic Initiatives; (4) Political Initiatives; and (5) Cultural Initiatives.

During the several month period of working group meetings, LEAD1 conducted more than 30 calls and committed more than 200 hours to develop its final product.

The working group’s recommendations come at an important time as there are several notable FBS athletic director and head coaching jobs open. The white paper, on behalf of the working group, will be addressed to all stakeholders in FBS college sports including all conferences, institutions, the NCAA, the College Football Playoff (CFP), relevant search firms, and others.

“We have never worked harder on a project than this one,” said Tom McMillen, President and CEO of LEAD1. “The release of this white paper is an example of our commitment to being a positive influence in the national dialogue on race and equality.”

“I am extremely optimistic about the timing and all the hard work that has been put into these LEAD1 recommendations,” said Frazier. “The time for action is clearly now. The responsibility and climate to operationalize these recommendations are squarely on our shoulders. Let’s make 2021 the year that college athletics diversity, equity and inclusion finally moves the needle.”

“Effective leaders weave diversity, equity, and inclusion into the fabric of every area in the athletics department,” said Jude. “I am hopeful that administrators embrace these recommendations with the same investment and passion that our talented and diverse committee members worked tirelessly to create. Now is the time to turn position statements into policies and action for change. Let’s shatter the status quo and become change agents in creating a more inclusive culture.”

LEAD1 is also hosting a virtual forum on Thursday, January 7th at 1pm EST with Frazier and Jude, as well as some of its other working group members, to further explain its process and recommendations. The entire college sports community is encouraged to intend. 

Working Group Roster

Name Institution
Tom McMillen LEAD1 President & CEO
Sean T. Frazier (Co-Chair) Northern Illinois University
China Jude (Co-Chair) University of Wyoming
Amanda Ekabutr University of Massachusetts
Angie Torain University of Notre Dame
Bart Lambergman LEAD1 Association
Brandi Stuart University of Central Florida
Brandon Bradley Brigham Young University
Broderick Binns University of Iowa
Daniel Garcia University of Texas at El Paso
Dr. Charles Small Iowa State University
Eddie Nunez University of New Mexico
Fumi Kimura University of Pittsburgh
Hannah Dewey LEAD1 Association
James Hall New Mexico State University
Jerlando Jackson University of Wisconsin-Madison
Joe Karlgaard Rice University
Katie Schilling Kent State University
Kelcey Roegiers Georgia State University
Kenneth Miles (posthumously) University of Michigan
Kevin White Northwestern University
Kristen Brown Texas A&M University
Marlon Dechausay University of Memphis
Marquita Armstead University of South Florida
Monique Holland Auburn University
Natasha Oakes University of North Texas
Ragean Hill UNC Charlotte
Randale L. Richmond Old Dominion University
Renae Myles Payne University of Miami
Ted White University of Virginia
Terry Prentice University of Kansas
Tiffini Grimes University of Alabama
Tracy Shoemake Texas State University
Troy Austin Duke University
Wendy Smooth Ohio State University

For more information about the upcoming release, please contact, Bart Lambergman, (bart@lead1a.com).

About the LEAD1 Association: LEAD1 represents the athletics directors of the 130 member universities of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). Key to the LEAD1 mission are influencing how the rules of college sports are enacted and implemented, advocating for the future of college athletics, and providing various services to our member schools. For more information, please visit www.LEAD1Association.com.