Birmingham, AL

The Rising Coaches Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Alliance is proud to announce its inaugural DEI Awards. The DEI Alliance will present four awards to 12 recipients on April 2 at the Rising Coaches Final Four Speaker Series in New Orleans.

The Catalyst Award is presented to an individual who seeks to bring change to the coaching and sports industry by providing resources and advocating for opportunities.

The Rising Coaches DEI Alliance is proud to present the 2022 Catalyst Award to the following:

Brian “Penny” Collins – Head Coach at Tennessee State University and Founder of embRACEus. In addition to leading the TSU program, Coach Collins formed embRACEus in the summer of 2020. embRACEus is an organization of coaches who have provided professional development opportunities for the coaching community.  They advocate for more minorities to be hired in leadership roles in collegiate athletics. 

Pooh Jeter – Black Coaches Association. Pooh Jeter has been a driving force behind the newly revitalized Black Coaches Association. Jeter has manned booths for exposure at major recruiting events and has built a massive social media movement advocating for black coaches in all sports.

Tim Duncan – Director of Athletics at the University of New Orleans and Co-founder of the Black AD Alliance

The Trailblazer Award is presented to an individual who has blazed the way for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion throughout the coaching and sports industry.

The Rising Coaches DEI Alliance is proud to present the 2022 Trailblazer Award to the following:

Dawn Staley – Head Coach at the University of South Carolina 

Coach Staley is one of the most impactful forces in basketball. As the head coach at the University of South Carolina, she has won a national championship, led her team to four Final Four’s, seven SEC championships and she is a three-time Naismith National Coach of the Year, including this season. Staley has also led USA Women’s Basketball to a gold medal at the 2020 Olympics. In addition to her success on the court, Coach Staley has been an outspoken advocate for the hiring of women of color in college basketball.

Mike Magpayo – Head Coach at UC Riverside and founder of the Asian Coaches Association

Coach Magpayo is the first-ever Asian American head coach in NCAA Division I basketball. In addition to leading UC Riverside to three successful seasons, he also founded the Asian Coaches Association - which has provided community and connectivity for coaches of Asian descent.

Edniesha Curry – Assistant Coach for the Portland Trailblazers

Coach Curry is one of just a few women holding an assistant coach title in the NBA. She is also the first female assistant coach in the Portland Trailblazers organization. Before coaching in the NBA, she was an assistant coach for the University of Maine men’s basketball team. At that time, she was the only woman to hold that position in NCAA Division I men’s basketball.

Dr. China Jude – Vice President of Diversity Equity and Inclusion for the Denver Broncos

Dr. China Jude joined the Denver Broncos organization in 2021 after serving as a college athletics administrator for more than two decades. Dr. Jude also has served as the president of the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association (MOAA), she is the founder of the Women of Color Athletic Directors Network, and was the Co-Chair for Lead One’s DEI Committee. Dr. Jude has been a leading force for women of color in athletic administration and now is doing the same for women in the NFL.

The Impact Award is presented to an individual who actively advances diversity, equity and inclusion in transformative sustainable ways in coaching and the sports industry. 

The Rising Coaches DEI Alliance is proud to present this award to the following:

Katy Young Staudt – Turnkey ZRG. 

Katy Young Staudt is one of the most influential decision makers in college athletics. Young Staudt helped create the Rising Coaches DEI Alliance “Next Up” program which provides in- depth training and exposure to decision-makers for 12 up and coming head coaching candidates each year. Forty percent of the program’s participants went on to receive head coaching jobs immediately following their completion of the program.

Eric Reveno – Associate Head Coach at Georgia Tech

Coach Reveno has led several initiatives around student-athlete voter registration. Ahead of the 2020 presidential election, Coach Reveno helped register more than 8,000 student-athletes. He also was instrumental in passing the All Vote No Play NCAA legislation that requires all sports to have a mandatory day off from practice on national election days.

Felicia Hall Allen – Founder and President of Felicia Hall Allen and Associates

Felicia Hall Allen has spent her career advocating for coaches. She is the founder of the “Level Up” Symposium which provides training and connectivity for assistant coaches to major decision makers in college athletics. Hall Allen also sits on the board of directors for ABIS and the HBCU All-star game. 

The Lifetime Award is presented to an individual who has spent their life advocating and demonstrating great leadership in advancing the diversity and inclusion cause in the coaching and sports industry. 

The Lifetime Award is presented to the following:

Dr. Ingrid Wicker McCree – Former Director of Athletics for North Carolina Central University

Dr. McCree has just announced her retirement after 29 years at North Carolina Central University. McCree is one of the only women to win conference championships in multiple sports as the head coach for women’s volleyball and softball. She has served as the Director of Athletics at NCCU since 2008 and was instrumental in NCCU’s transition to Division I. McCree was named the 2014 and 2017 FCS Athletic Director of the Year and is a member of the NCCU Athletics Hall of Fame.

Dr. Richard LapchickPresident of the Institute for Sport and Social Justice, Director of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport and Chair of Sports Business Management at UCF

Dr. Lapchick is a pioneer and leading researcher for diversity in sports. He has led numerous efforts in the fight for human rights and equality. Lapchick is a regular contributor for ESPN and the Sports Business Journal. He has been instrumental in advocating for diversity hires in athletics, he has led initiatives to help rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, to help combat human trafficking and has run one of the most impactful violence prevention programs in America. Dr. Lapchick has lived a life dedicated to service and fighting for others.