McLendon Minority
Leadership Initiative
The Program

The Program

The Minority Leadership Initiative (MLI) started in July 2020  to create access and opportunity for meaningful employment experience for historically excluded talent to enhance their career options.

Originally funded by collegiate coaches, the MLI is a one-year transformational program that provides minorities (known as Fellows) a jump-start to their careers in sports through a year-long employment opportunity, a robust professional development curriculum, and access to a network of MLI alumni.


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McLendon Fellows are principled leaders from historically excluded communities who embody the values of John McLendon and aspire to be executive leaders in sports.

Since the programs inception, 121 McLendon Fellows have been matched at institutions and sports organizations across the country. Past Fellows have used their experience to secure full-time employment at ESPN, USOPC, New York Jets, Evil Geniuses, Detroit Pistons, NABC, and numerous college athletic departments across the country.

Learning Outcomes

  • Decision Making
  • Leadership Training
  • Interviewing
  • Career Planning
  • Networking

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