Birmingham, AL. The Rising Coaches Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Alliance is pleased to announce the finalists for its second annual “Next Up” Head Coaches Training Initiative.  The finalists for “Next Up 2021” are as follows:

Jamal Brown – Norfolk State – Minority Coaches Association
Tasha Butts – Georgia Tech – Women of Color Coaches Network
Ashley Davis – Arizona – Women of Color Coaches Network
Surina Dixon – Cincinnati – Women of Color Coaches Network
Gregg Gottlieb – Grand Canyon – Jewish Coaches Association
Hana Haden – Moberly Area Community College – embRACEus
Corry Irvin – Illinois – Be Ready
Marcus King – Siena College – Coaches 4 Change
Jason Ludwig – Santa Clara – Latino Association of Basketball Coaches
Mike Peck – UT San Antonio – Asian Coaches Association
Jesse Pruitt – Stanford – Black Coaches Association
Kevin Sutton – Florida Gulf Coast – Rising Coaches

Three of the participants from the inaugural Next Up Initiative in 2020 went on to receive head coaching jobs, including Ben Johnson at Minnesota (Coaches For Action), Ganiyat Adeduntan at Colgate (Women of Color Coaches Network), and Jason Hart of the G League Ignite (Black Coaches Association). 

The confidence Johnson gained in the interview room helped him clinch the Minnesota job in March. “Anytime you can practice is awesome,” said Johnson. “Throughout the process of Next Up, I was asked so many different questions. It forced me to think that when I have the opportunity - I would be better prepared to answer questions because of Next Up.”

The 12 member organizations who make up the DEI Alliance each nominated two coaches to represent their groups. Of the nominees, 12 coaches were selected by a DEI committee to participate in the Next Up Training Initiative in late October.

“First, thank you to all the organizations and the nominees. They all presented themselves exceptionally well and have bright futures as head coaches,” said Darryl Jacobs, Executive Director for the Rising Coaches DEI Alliance. “I commend the DEI staff of Kym Hampton and Brian Burton for their hard work and commitment in the selection process.” 

This year’s Next Up workshop will be led by founder and CEO of Renaissance Search and Consulting, Herb Courtney. Herb has led a number of national collegiate searches, including those at Vanderbilt, Loyola-Marymount, Delaware, Long Beach State and Lincoln University.

“The Rising Coaches Next Up Initiative is critically important to the advancement and development of minority coaches,” Herb said. “I am thrilled to be partnering with them on such an important issue that I am passionate about.”  

The inaugural Next Up Initiative in 2020 was led by Katy Young Staudt of Turnkey Search. “Just seeing all the coaches and feeling their passion, drive, and willingness to humble themselves and take constructive feedback proves that this exercise worked,” Katy said.


The DEI Alliance is made up of 12 different minority coaches and social justice organizations. Their mission is to use their platform as leaders in sports to impact change in the profession and their communities. For more information, visit

Rising Coaches is an inclusive membership-based organization for coaches of all levels. They provide relationships, resources and job opportunities to their 1,500+ members. For more information, visit

Related Posts

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout.

The Rising Coaches Blog

Rising Coaches is excited to officially announce that the 14th annual Rising Coaches Conference

Bottom Banner

If You Stuck Anywhere We Are With You Any Help !

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout.