Coaches Launch Diversity Mentorship Program
SAN FRANCISCO – Pac-12 Women's Volleyball coaching staffs are collectively launching the Diversity Mentorship Program which will aim to strengthen the pool of minority candidates for collegiate head and assistant coaching positions in NCAA Division I women's volleyball.
The purpose of the Diversity Mentorship Program is to educate and prepare the next generation of minority coaches through access and hands-on experience with Pac-12 coaches, who recognize that there is a need for a more diverse coaching pool in the sport within the Conference and across the country.
"I am really excited about the opportunity the Pac-12 is getting ready to provide minority coaches," said Arizona assistant coach Charita Stubbs. "This initiative will open the door for young coaches to be able to engage with a group of coaches to build a stronger network and give the next generation of leaders all the tools needed to be successful coaches. With advanced knowledge in practice planning, scouting, data analysis and community engagement, the future is bright in our industry."
"We are passionate about collaborating with aspiring college coaches that can positively impact the lives of student-athletes," added Oregon head coach Matt Ulmer. "We recognize that there is so much that we can learn from each other. We are excited to share our perspectives and experiences as well as receive different perspectives and experiences."
Starting in January 2021, six mentees will be selected for the program from an applicant pool to consist of minority graduating seniors or coaches who are early in their careers, passionate about coaching women's volleyball, and interested in getting experience at the highest collegiate level, with special consideration given to student-athletes from Pac-12 schools or HBCUs. Online applications will be available starting in October and accepted through Dec. 1.
Elements of the Diversity Mentorship Program will include seasonal trips to Pac-12 campuses for in-person training as well as regular meetings with assigned coaching staffs and program administrators, six live-lesson and discussion sessions with True North Sports' leadership development, and AVCA membership and educational and diversity programming at the organization's annual convention. The mentees will serve in non-coaching capacities, and all elements will be funded through Pac-12 coaching staffs as well as donations from friends of Pac-12 women's volleyball programs.
"The goal of this year-long program is to not only identify diverse coaching candidates, but to provide the mentees with opportunities to develop relationships with every coaching staff in our Conference and to gain a greater understanding of being a Division I collegiate coach," said Stanford head coach Kevin Hambly. "We feel the programming - visits to campus, monthly meeting opportunities, and partnering with the AVCA Diversity Award Program - will accomplish these goals and prepare the mentees to be coaches at the collegiate level."
The Diversity Mentorship Program is the latest member-led initiative in the Pac-12 Conference's efforts to promote social justice and combat racism, which since its creation in June has led to a series of student-athlete and coach anti-racism forums and men's basketball coaches' collective support of the McLendon Minority Leadership Initiative.