A Learning Experience

By BASN Wire Services
Updated: June 20, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS — The NCAA has invited 20 coaches to its 2010 Expert Coaches Football Academy, in an effort to assist the coaches with career advancement, networking and exposure opportunities at NCAA colleges and universities.

Ten of the invitees are from HBCUs. The Academy runs from Tuesday through Thursday in Anaheim, California, in conjunction with the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics convention.

The HBCU coaches invited to the 2010 Expert Academy program are:

  • Willie Bennett, co-defensive coordinator, Saint Augustine’s College
  • Michael Bryant II, offensive coordinator/QB coach, Prairie View A&M
  • Nathan Cochran, head football coach, Lincoln University (Missouri)
  • Wayne Dickens, head football coach, Kentucky State University
  • Eddie Johnson, associate head football coach, Savannah State University
  • Roy Jones, assistant football coach, Prairie View A&M University
  • Willie Jones, defensive coordinator/associate head coach, Stillman College
  • Matthew Montgomery, offensive coordinator, Saint Augustine’s College
  • Alvin Parker, offensive coordinator, Elizabeth City State University
  • Damon Wilson, head football coach, Bowie State University

The academy is an NCAA program which addresses the lack of ethnic minorities in college football head coaching positions, primarily at the Division I level. Topics at the academy include communication, fiscal responsibility, building a successful program, compliance and academics.

Of the coaches who have been invited to the NCAA Coaching Academy programs over time, 18 have secured head coaching positions in college football.

However, of the 582 football programs in Divisions I, II and III (excluding historically black colleges and universities), only 5.7 percent are coaches of color.

Though the NCAA does not have hiring authority over its member colleges and universities, the national office provides programming that better prepares coaches for many of the issues they will experience at the head coaching level.

The coaches who participate in the Expert Coaching Academy have expressed an interest in being a head coach at an NCAA college or university within their current division or in another NCAA division.

Program sessions provide networking opportunities with current head coaches and athletics administrators who have hiring responsibilities or influence. The focus of the program centers on ethnic minority football coaches; however, football coaches of other ethnicities have also been invited to participate.

In addition to the Expert Coaches Academy, the NCAA also directs the Future Coaches Academy for student-athletes who want to learn more about the coaching field.

In addition, the Football Coaches Academy is offered for those with less than eight years of experience.

The recently added Champions Forum links participants from past Expert Coaches Academies with NCAA athletics directors who have hiring power and key networks in athletics.

The NCAA created its Coaching Academies in 2004.