On Tuesday the Nebraska Cornhuskers announced that Head Coach Fred Hoiberg was named to the McLendon Foundation’s Minority Leadership Initiative. The initiative was created to “provide minorities a jump-start to their careers through practical experiences, opportunities to build their network, and instilling the values of John McLendon: Integrity, Education, Leadership, and Mentorship.” Coaches serve as mentors to the program’s Future Leaders on their campuses.
Coach Hoiberg joins a number of his Big Ten peers, including:
- Patrick Chambers, Penn State
- Tom Izzo, Michigan State
- Archie Miller, Indiana
- Matt Painter, Purdue
- Steve Pikiell, Rutgers
- Mark Turgeon, Maryland
- Brad Underwood, Illinois
Also among other coaches include former Big Ten coaches such as Tommy Amaker who is a Co-Chair and Tom Crean. Others such as Duke’s Coach K, Kentucky’s John Calipari (Co-Chair with Coach Amaker) include some of the noteworthy college basketball coaches, but football legends such as Alabama’s Nick Saban and Clemson’s Dabbo Swinney also are among those serving in ambassador roles.
The full press release issued by the University of Nebraska is below:
University of Nebraska Men’s Basketball Coach Fred Hoiberg has joined college coaches across the country as an Ambassador for the McLendon Foundation’s Minority Leadership Initiative [MLI].
This coach-driven initiative provides minorities a jump-start to their careers through practical experiences, opportunities to build their network, and instilling the values of John McLendon: Integrity, Education, Leadership and Mentorship. Participants in the initiative will be known as MLI Future Leaders.
Hoiberg joins nearly 75 coaches across the country in sponsoring the program and will serve as mentors to the MLI Future Leaders on their campuses.
“I am honored to become an ambassador of the McLendon Minority Leadership Initiative,” Hoiberg said. “This program will create opportunities to minorities to begin their careers in college athletics not only at Nebraska, but across the country and is an important first step in finding solutions to increasing diversity in athletic administration.”
The McLendon Foundation, along with G3 Marketing and ProLink Staffing Services, will be assisting in the solicitation of collegiate coaches, administrators and corporations to build this program and provide opportunities within athletic departments at all levels, with the ultimate goal of expanding and enhancing the pipeline for minorities interested in pursuing careers in athletic administration. As an added benefit, the Joel Cornette Foundation will assist the Future Leaders with corporate mentorship, development and job placement.
McLendon, a founding class member of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame and a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, was a pioneer in the integration of basketball. He led the first all-Black college team to a national tournament in 1954 at Tennessee A&I, and later became the first African-American coach in professional basketball when he joined the ABL’s Cleveland Pipers staff in 1959. In 1966, McLendon was hired by Cleveland State, becoming the first African-American head basketball coach at a predominately white institution.