The Black Coaches Association was started in 1987 by a group of concerned coaches to address the lack of minority head coaches in the collegiate ranks and to highlight the adverse impact of NCAA legislation on ethnic minority student-athletes and coaches. The founding coaches voiced their concerns from a variety of platforms, which ultimately led to productive meetings with NCAA leadership. The collaborative outcomes included creating leadership programs; enhancing and developing programs designed to significantly increase the participation of ethnic minorities in intercollegiate coaching and athletic administration; and the NCAA hiring of personnel to address the issues raised by the ethnic minority coaching community. Over the last 25 years, progress has been made to increase the number of ethnic minority head coaches at all levels; however, we still have a long way to go to achieve equality.
In an effort to make the general public aware of the lack of ethnic minority head coaches and to inform the collegiate environment of unequitable hiring practices, the BCA partnered with The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) to develop the Hiring Report Card. The rationale for the Hiring Report Card was to present an objective measurement that quantifies criteria believed to influence the hiring process. Through a systematic evaluation process, the BCA's goal was to objectively increase public and institutional awareness of schools that were (or were not) demonstrating a commitment to diversity and inclusion. The BCA strongly believed that equity in hiring can be achieved through an inclusive and diverse search process. The Hiring Report Card became synonymous with the BCA as it promoted recognition and brand awareness of the organization to the general public and the sports industry.
The BCA Hiring Report Card is a valuable and essential tool that provides important information regarding the hiring process. Since college presidents and athletic directors remain the key influencers in the hiring process, establishing relationships between administrators and qualified prospective coaches of color is crucial to achieving equity and inclusion.
While the data is simply collected and presented, the BCA Hiring Report Card remains a useful tool for positive change in the landscape of intercollegiate sport as it pertains to diversity and inclusion efforts. Since the publication of the first BCA Hiring Report Card, we have witnessed the greatest increase in ethnic minority head football coaches ever hired on the FBS level. While there was a steady growth of ethnic minority women's basketball head coaching opportunities from 2008-2010, recent trends show a decline. Ethnic minority coaches in Division I men's basketball represent the highest proportion of minority head coaches in all of intercollegiate athletics, an all-time high of 25.2 % reported in the 2005-2006 season; however there has been a gradual decline during the last six-year period which is a cause for concern given the continual increase in the percentage of ethnic minority student-athletes participating in the sport.
The BCA is also known for implementing the Achieving Coaching Excellence (ACE) program. This program prepares ethnic minority coaches for success as future head coaches through training and education in the areas of leadership, communication building relationships, community involvement and program management. The BCA held its inaugural ACE program for ethnic minority women's basketball coaches in 2003 and the organization has held the ACE program every year since. To date there is a total of 190 coaches who participated in the program and 54 have become head coaches which is approximately 29% of the participants. Moreover, the professional development of coaches is a proven method for creating successful athletic programs.
In 2015 the board of directors changed the name of the organization to Advocates for Athletic Equity (AAE) and streamlined the refocused organization toward advocating and promoting all ethnic minority coaches for positions of leadership at all levels of sport.