UChicago Athletics Partners with the McLendon Foundation to Offer MLI Internship Position

UChicago Job Posting: Athletic Administrator for Special Projects

CHICAGO – The University of Chicago Department of Athletics & Recreation, in collaboration with the McLendon Foundation, is seeking to fill the newly-created position of Athletic Administrator for Special Projects.

Thanks to the generous support of an anonymous University of Chicago men’s basketball alumnus, UChicago Athletics & Recreation is excited to partner with the McLendon Minority Leadership Initiative to offer this 12-month appointment.  

Now in its second year, the MLI is a coach-driven program spearheaded by head men’s basketball coaches Tommy Amaker (Harvard University) and John Calipari (University of Kentucky). The purpose of the McLendon Minority Leadership Initiative (MLI) is to provide minorities – known as MLI Future Leaders – a jump-start to their careers through practical experiences, opportunities to build their network, and instilling the values of John McLendon: Integrity, Education, Leadership, and Mentorship.

The University of Chicago Athletic Administrator for Special Projects will have the opportunity to engage with student-athletes, coaches, athletic administrators, and other campus partners in a wide variety of events, activities, and projects for the athletic department. They will have the chance to contribute to the organization’s success while receiving a real-time learning experience.

The addition of this position also reinforces UChicago Athletics & Recreation’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion as key tenets in the department’s overall mission. Athletics & Recreation believes that diversity of thought and culture, valuing fairness and equity, and providing a welcoming environment for all play central roles in the student-athlete journey at UChicago. The UChicago partnership with the MLI seeks to create a valuable experience for a Future Leader that will spur their professional growth within the sphere of collegiate athletics.

“The University of Chicago Department of Athletics & Recreation is grateful for the donation and pleased to provide someone with an opportunity to enter this industry,” said UChicago Director of Athletics & Recreation Angie Torain.

Interested candidates are encouraged to apply for the position here:

John McLendon Jr. (1915-1999) was a trailblazer and civil rights pioneer in the athletic realm. Starting in 1940, he embarked on a decorated three-decade career as a collegiate head basketball coach, which included three-consecutive NAIA national championships at Tennessee State University. McLendon founded the National Athletic Steering Committee and led the charge for racial integration in college basketball in the 1950s. He also became the first African-American head basketball coach at a predominantly white institution (Cleveland State University in 1966).

McLendon made his mark in professional basketball as well. He was head coach of the Cleveland Pipers, who competed in the National Industrial Basketball League (NIBL) and the American Basketball League (ABL). The Pipers’ move to the ABL in 1962 made McLendon the first African-American professional head coach. He later served as head coach of the Denver Rockets in the American Basketball Association (ABA).

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