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20 Questions Member Spotlight with Dr. James Coleman

May 8, 2018

Name: Dr. James C. Coleman
Position/Institution: Athletics Director/Tougaloo College
Number of years in your position: 33 years at Tougaloo, 2 years at Mississippi Valley State University
Alma Mater(s): Tougaloo College (BA), Tennessee State University (MS), University of Mississippi (Ed.D.)
Hometown: Jackson, MS
Institution Athletics Twitter Handle: @TCAthletics

1. Why did you become involved in the NAIA-ADA?
To be current and up to date on issues related to intercollegiate athletics.

2. What is your favorite part about being a member of the NAIA-ADA?
Sharing ideas of similar missions of IHL athletic programs.

3. What is the biggest challenge to working in a university environment?
Maintaining knowledge, skills and dispositions of job performance.

4. What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment to date?
Maintaining high level of competition in all of our sports.

5. What is the most important skill you have developed in your career?
Patience, planning, preparation and performance.

6. Who has been the most influential person in your career?
My family, my faith and my colleagues.

7. What is one item you cannot live without?
Nourishment

8. Who would you chose to switch places with for a day?
President of the College

9. If you could plan a vacation to anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Spain

10. What is your favorite sporting that event you have ever attended?
Olympic tryouts

11. Why/when did you decide to pursue a career in collegiate athletics?
July 24, 1962

12. In your mind, who in this industry can serve as a good role model?
Dr. Kiki Barnes, Athletics Director at Dillard University

13. How has your involvement with the NAIA-ADA influenced your career?
Social media via current events

14. What educational or business experiences best prepared you for a career as an Athletics Director?
Teacher Certification Process

15. What challenges do you face when working with student-athletes?
Generational gap

16. Would you please explain a professional success and how you implemented it?
I hired a men’s basketball coach in 1983 at Mississippi Valley State University from a high school program. He was the winningest coach in that conference for twenty-seven years. I rehired him to come to Tougaloo as the men’s basketball coach in 2005. He produced the best records in winning championships in the school’s history.

17. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? What advice would you give to someone looking to become an NAIA Athletics Director?
Always place God first in your life and family. When you take a job, be committed, go beyond the call of duty.

18. What was your biggest professional blunder and how did you learned from it?
I scheduled two basketball games on the west coast; one game was supposed to be an exhibition and the other one a regular season game. I did not put the exhibition game on the calendar causing me to be over the 32 game limit. That caused the team to not qualify for conference championship.

19. What percentage of your work-week is spent in your office?
Seventy percent or more.

20. What are you most looking forward to at the next NAIA or NACDA Convention?
Reacquainting with old friends, meeting new ADs and reflecting on memory lane.

About NAIA-ADA: The NAIA-ADA is comprised of athletics administrators from the nearly 250 institutions representing 21 conferences competing in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). The purpose of the NAIA-ADA is to engage our Athletics Directors with meaningful collaboration, forums and national recognition; empower our Athletics Directors in their professional development and leadership roles in the NAIA; and promote NAIA Athletics Directors' collective voice on issues affecting membership and college athletics on a national scale. For more information about the NAIA-ADA, please visit www.naiaada.com. The NAIA-ADA is administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), which is in its 53rd year. For more information on NACDA and the 17 professional associations that fall under its umbrella, please visit www.nacda.com.