SEC introduces first Opportunity Forum class
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (September 21, 2022) - The Southeastern Conference on Wednesday introduced its inaugural SEC Opportunity Forum class, fifteen university and conference administrators who will participate in a year-long program designed to connect mid to senior level administrators in the SEC from historically underrepresented groups with industry leaders and assist them with advancement in the profession.
"The Southeastern Conference and its member institutions are committed to expanding the diversity of our athletics department leadership," said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. "It is important for the Conference and its member institutions to achieve measurable and sustained progress in increasing diversity and representation of historically underrepresented groups in athletics positions, consistent with the overall educational mission."
The SEC Opportunity Forum is one result of SEC Bylaw 23, a Conference rule adopted by the SEC Presidents and Chancellors in 2021 to encourage, facilitate and assist member institutions in attracting, hiring and retaining individuals from historically underrepresented groups in the leadership of athletics departments, particularly in the roles of athletics director, head coach, and senior woman administrator (SWA) and in positions that typically lead to those roles.
Phase I of the SEC Opportunity Forum will focus on administrators in the SEC who aspire to become an athletics director or conference commissioner. Future aspects of the Forum will be designed to engage coaches who are on the verge of being named a head coach and administrators and coaches who are earlier in their careers.
The four-part series of engagements in 2022-2023 will include in-person sessions at the SEC Office in Birmingham in October, the SEC Football Championship in Atlanta in December, the SEC Spring Meetings in Destin in May. There will also be at least one virtual session on a date to be determined.
The SEC collaborated with each member university to identify the individuals invited to participate in the Forum. The inaugural SEC Opportunity Forum class of administrators consists of:
Alabama: Joe Suiter, Assistant Athletics Director for Student-Athlete Enhancement
Arkansas: Terry Prentice, Senior Associate Athletics Director/Athlete Brand Development
Auburn: Djenane Paul, Executive Associate Athletics Director/SWA
Florida: Kim Green, Associate Athletics Director for Compliance
Georgia: Darrice Griffin, Senior Deputy Athletic Director
Kentucky: Ray Oliver, Executive Associate Athletics Director/ Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
LSU: Lori Williams, Deputy Athletics Director for Leadership and Strategy
Ole Miss: Dr. Jennifer Saxon, Executive Associate Athletics Director/SWA
Mississippi State: Alvin Franklin, Associate Athletics Director/Development and Team Lead
Missouri: Donald Senat, Academic Coordinator
South Carolina: David Jackson, Senior Accounting/Fiscal Manager
Tennessee: Marcus Hilliard, Senior Associate Athletics Director and Chief of Staff
Texas A&M: Dan Childs, Associate Athletics Director for Academic Services
Vanderbilt: Eugene Henderson, Assistant Athletics Director for Student Services
Southeastern Conference: Misty Brown, Assistant Commissioner/Competition and Student-Athlete Engagement