Alabama Head Football and Basketball Coaches Nick Saban and Nate Oats have pledged to take part in the McLendon Minority Leadership Initiative as ambassadors. This initiative will include 70 collegiate coaches who's goal is to jump-start careers for minorities through practical experiences and opportunities to build their network.

This announcement comes on the heels of Coach Saban being announced as a board member for former Alabama coach Mike Locksley's National Coalition of Minority Football Coaches coalition.

The John McLendon Minority Scholarship Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. It's goals is to provide educational opportunities and serve as a vehicle for networking, information and advocacy on behalf of the coaching profession.

The Foundation has awarded 123 students with scholarships to date in the amount of $1,245,000.

McLendon served as an understudy to the father of basketball, Dr. James Naismith. He graduated from the University of Kansas in 1937 as the first African-American student to earn a degree in physical education and subsequently earned his master's degree from the University of Iowa.

McLendon went on to become head basketball coach at North Carolina Central College, Hampton Institute, Tennessee State University, Kentucky State University and Cleveland State University.

While at North Carolina Central he also served as athletics director for 12 years.

The McLendon Foundation is currently accepting applications for Future Leader opportunities nationwide. For more information and to submit an application you can visit

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