The NCAA has invited 12 football coaches and eight directors of athletics from Division I programs to its 2012 Champion Forum, the top tier of the NCAA’s coaching academy programs. The Champion Forum will be held Tuesday-Thursday in Dallas, in conjunction with the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics convention.

The Champion Forum features a select group of football coaches who are identified as ready to step into a head football coaching position at an NCAA college or university. The Atlantic Coast, Big East, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and Southeastern Conferences, along with the National Football League also serve as program organizers and sponsors, and help select the participants.

“The Champion Forum introduces the football coaches to individuals and processes that they otherwise might not have known or been exposed to,” said Robert Vowels, vice president for NCAA student-athlete affairs. “Networks are critical when seeking a head coaching position. We’ve seen progress in minority hiring at the head coach level in football, however, there is still work to do.  The forum exposes underrepresented numbers to key networks in football which ultimately may help balance the diversity in the head coaching ranks.”

During the forum, Western Kentucky President Gary Ransdell, the football coaches, athletic directors and invited administrators and speakers will have time to develop professional relationships in a one-on-one environment. There will be simulated interview sessions, keynote speaker presentations, instruction on working with search firms, media training, NCAA enforcement guidance, and opportunities to discuss key aspects of becoming a head football coach in a more informal, private setting. The list of speakers includes NCAA, athletic conference and NFL administrators, current head coaches and business affiliates.

Through the forum, the football coaches will have an opportunity to gain a better understanding of a number of issues and topics. These include the thought process of a director of athletics who is hiring a coach; the intricacies of being a head football coach at a college or university; how to best utilize outside resources, such as search firms; and how to manage a message when engaging in media and public speaking opportunities. They also will have time to meet with speakers to discuss their experiences and expertise.

CHAMPION FORUM COACHES AND ATHLETIC DIRECTORS
Coach Position School Athletic Director School
Harlon Barnett Secondary Michigan State Greg Byrne Arizona
Torrian Gray Secondary Virginia Tech Jeff Long Arkansas
Pep Hamilton Offensive coordinator
Quarterbacks coach
Stanford Whit Babcock Cincinnati
Vernon Hargreaves Special teams coordinator
Defensive ends
South Florida John Currie Kansas State
Greg Knox Running backs Mississippi State Ross Bjork Mississippi
Derek Mason Associate head coach
Defensive coordinator
Stanford Jim Phillips Northwestern
George McDonald Passing game coordinator
Wide receivers
Miami (Fla.) Doug Woolard South Florida
Reggie Mitchell Running backs
Recruiting coordinator
Kansas Chris Del Conte Texas Christian
Daron Roberts Cornerbacks West Virginia    
Michael Smith Wide receivers Kansas State    
Dennis Springer Wide receivers Northwestern    
Lorenzo Ward Defensive coordinator South Carolina