NCAA race, gender report highlights C-USA’s Judy MacLeod

American Football on Outdoor Field at the 50 Yard Line

Conference USA commissioner Judy MacLeod has been singled out as a sign of progress in the annual report on racial and gender hiring practices in college sports.

The NCAA College Sport Racial and Gender Report Card noted a slight improvement in the hiring of women, led by Judy MacLeod, who was named the first female commissioner of a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) league in October.

Overall, the hiring of minorities slipped from 2014, according to the report, released by Richard Lapchick at The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida.

“College Sport maintained its overall B grade as well as its B for racial hiring practices and its C+ for gender hiring practices,” said Lapchick, the director of TIDES and the primary author of the CSRGRC. “There was a small improvement in gender and a small decrease for race.”

The report, which uses information supplied to the NCAA, looks at hiring practices for gender and race from university president down to assistant coaches, noted there are nine women leading athletic departments across FBS and FCS schools — the Ohio Valley’s Elizabeth DeBauche; the Ivy League’s Robin Harris; the Atlantic 10’s Bernadette V. McGlade; the Patriot’s Jennifer Heppel; and Noreen Morris (Northeast Conference), Lynn Holman (West Coast) Val Ackerman (Big East) and Amy Huchthausen (American East).

The NCAA, along with professional leagues, has this snapshot taken each year to monitor diverse hiring practices to reflect their membership and audiences.

College Sport received a B for racial hiring practices by earning 83.6 points, a slight decrease from 83.8 points in the 2014 CSRGRC. Gender hiring practices earned 78.8 points, up from 78.3 points in the 2014 CSRGRC, for a C+. The combined grade for the 2015 CSRGRC was a B with 81.2 points, slightly up from an overall B with 81.1 points in 2014.

Other findings:

  • The number of athletics directors of color at FBS schools decreased from 21 in 2014 to 17 in 2015. There were still no women of color in this position.
  • There were 112 (87.5%) white head football coaches to begin the 2015 season. The number of head football coaches of color at the FBS level increased from 14 in the 2014 report to 16 at the start of the 2015 season.
  • Latino head football coaches remained the same at one (0.8%) from 2014. There were still two (1.6%) Asian/Pacific Islander head coaches. The percent of African-American head coaches increased to 10.2% in 2015, from 8.7 % in 2014.

While it has been common practice for men to coach women’s teams, it is rare for a woman to coach a men’s team.  According to the report women held only 38.9% of the head coaching jobs of women’s teams in Division I, 35.4% in Division II and 43.8% in Division III. Women held 48%, 49%, and 51.2 % of assistant coaching positions of women’s teams in Divisions I, II, and III, respectively.

Whites held the overwhelming percentage of the decision-making athletics director positions during the 2014-2015 year at 87.5%, 91.2%, and 94.3% in Divisions I, II, and III, respectively. Women made up only 8.9% of Division I athletics directors, a decrease from 9.6 in 2013-2014. As of October 2015, there were 12 African-American, three Latino, one Asian and one Native American athletics directors at FBS institutions.

Of the 128 ADs who oversaw FBS football programs, there were 102 (79.7%) white males. There were no female African-American, Asian, Latina or Native American athletics directors at FBS schools. They include Warde J. Manuel (Connecticut), Sean Frazier (Northern Illinois), Kevin Clark (Temple), Derrick Gragg (Tulsa) and Pete Garcia (Florida International) from ASN-affiliated schools.

Of the nine women ADs who oversaw FBS football, three were at ASN-affiliated schools: Heather Lyke, Eastern Michigan University; Lynn Hickey, University of Texas, San Antonio; and Kathy Beauregard, Western Michigan University.

The level of diversity within the athletics director position at FBS schools decreased from the 2014 study, as 17 (13.3%) people of color held this position.

As of October 2015, there were 128 head football coaches at FBS schools and of those, 112 (87.5 %) were white males. There were 16 (12.5%) of 128 FBS head football coaches that were people of color, an increase from 14 in last year’s study.

Of those football coaches, the ASN-affiliated teams in 2015 were: African-Americans Dino Babers (Bowling Green), Ruffin McNeill (East Carolina), Paul Haynes (Kent State) and one Asian-Pacific Islander, Navy’s Ken Niumatalolo.