February 24, 2023

SEC Opportunity Forum Class Meets in Nashville

By: SEC Staff
SECU (Twitter: @TheSECU)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – During the 2023 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament in Nashville, the Southeastern Conference will host the third session of its inaugural SEC Opportunity Forum, 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 professional development opportunities.  The inaugural class consists of fifteen university and conference administrators who are participating in a four-part series of engagements.

“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.”

Phase I of the SEC Opportunity Forum is focusing on administrators in the SEC who aspire to become an athletics director or conference commissioner. Future phases 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 has included in-person sessions at the SEC Office in Birmingham in October and the SEC Football Championship in Atlanta in December.  The program will culminate during the SEC Spring Meetings in Destin in May.

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.

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