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NACDA and the John McLendon Minority Scholarship Foundation announce new partnership with the Fiesta Bowl

Feb. 2, 2017

CLEVELAND — The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and the John McLendon Minority Scholarship Foundation announced a new partnership with the Fiesta Bowl that became effective January 1, 2017.

The main components of the partnership include the creation of a new award based on community service and the endowment of a sixth McLendon Minority Postgraduate Scholarship which will be awarded to a minority candidate from an Arizona based four-year institution who desires to pursue postgraduate education in the field of athletics administration.

“We are extremely pleased to announce this new relationship with the Fiesta Bowl,” said NACDA Executive Director, Bob Vecchione. “It is important for us to recognize our member athletics departments not just for their efforts on the playing field, but in the community as well and the creation of this new award will allow us to do that. The partnership with the McLendon Minority Scholarship Foundation also enables the organization to further its mission assisting minorities in the profession.”

The partnership between NACDA and the Fiesta Bowl was brought to fruition when Mike Wilcox, NACDA’s investment consultant and chairman and CEO of Wilcox Financial and Wilcox Sports Management, saw an opportunity for the entities to work together. Wilcox is also a board member of the Fiesta Bowl and McLendon Minority Scholarship Foundation.

The Fiesta Bowl will be the presenting partner for the community service award, which will honor Division I athletics departments in its inaugural year in 2017. The judging panel will consist of three sitting athletics directors, one Fiesta Bowl representative and one NACDA representative. More information regarding the award’s timeline, nomination and selection process will be made available in early 2017.

In addition to the endowment of a $10,000 McLendon Minority Scholarship, Mike Nealy, Executive Director of the Fiesta Bowl, will represent the organization on the Foundation’s Board of Directors, which was restructured earlier this year.



“Mike Nealy will make a great addition to our Board of Directors,” said Lee Reed, current McLendon Minority Scholarship Foundation President and director of athletics at Georgetown University. “The contributions from the Fiesta Bowl will help us to continue to enhance the minority pipeline in college athletics and make a significant impact in terms of diversity and inclusion in departments across the country.”

“The Fiesta Bowl is excited about this partnership. To be a part of creating a new award recognizing service to one’s community and creating an endowment promoting education through a scholarship fits well with our goals as an organization and NACDA is a natural partner to accomplish this,” said Nealy.

The winners of the 18th annual McLendon Minority Scholarship will be announced in the summer of 2017. For additional information on the Foundation or questions, please contact Katie Newman (knewman@nacda.com) in the national office.

About NACDA: NACDA, now in its 52nd year, is the professional and educational Association for more than 15,700 college athletics administrators at more than 1,700 institutions throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. More than 6,500 athletics administrators annually attend NACDA & Affiliates Convention Week. Additionally, NACDA manages 17 professional associations and three foundations. For more information on NACDA, visit www.nacda.com.

About the John McLendon Minority Scholarship Foundation: The John McLendon Minority Scholarship Foundation is a 501©3 Non-Profit Organization Founded and Administered by NACDA that provides educational opportunities and serves as a vehicle for networking, information and advocacy on behalf of the profession. If you have any questions regarding this program, please visit www.mclendonminorityfoundation.com.

About the Fiesta Bowl: The Fiesta Bowl's vision is to be a world-class community organization that executes innovative experiences, drives economic growth and champions charitable causes, inspiring pride in all Arizonans. As a nonprofit focused on fostering a culture of community involvement and giving, the Fiesta Bowl Organization hosts a variety of local events, as well as two elite bowl games a year - the PlayStation® Fiesta Bowl and the Motel 6 Cactus Bowl. Since 1971, the Fiesta Bowl has worked to increase its footprint across the state and work to benefit Arizonans year-round, during and outside of bowl season. For more information about its local impact and how to get involved, visit FiestaBowl.org.