About ED BOARDS & COMMISSIONS
Members -- Secretary's Commission on Opportunity in Athletics
Archived Information


Current Section
Cynthia Cooper (Co-Chair)
Ted Leland (Co-Chair)
Percy Bates
Bob Bowlsby
Gene DeFilippo
Donna de Varona
Julie Foudy
Tom Griffith
Cary Groth
Lisa Graham Keegan
Muffet McGraw
Dr. Rita Simon
Mike Slive
Graham Spanier
Dr. Deborah Yow
Ex-Officio Members
Gerald Reynolds
Brian Jones
Sally Stroup

Cynthia Cooper—Co-Chair

Cynthia Cooper is the Chief Executive Officer of the sports marketing company, ProHaven, Inc.

Cooper served as head coach to the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury for one and a half seasons and, as a player, led the Houston Comets to four-straight WNBA championships. Cooper earned All-WNBA First Team honors in each of her four seasons as a player and was on the WNBA All-Star Team each year the game was played. She is the WNBA's all-time leading scorer.

Cooper played professionally in Italy and Spain for 11 years and then returned to the United States in 1997 to play with the Women's National Basketball Association in its inaugural season. She was a member of the 1992 bronze-medal-winning U.S. Olympic Women's Basketball Team and the 1988 gold-medal-winning Olympic team.

Cooper won two NCAA Championships (1983, 1984) with the University of Southern California. She led the Trojans to three Final Four appearances in four years, and currently ranks eighth on USC's all-time scoring list, fifth in assists and third in steals.

Cooper founded the Mary Cobbs Building Dream Foundation and has teamed up with Concept Cure, the Race for the Cure, and other organizations to help raise money for breast cancer research. Cooper is the author of an autobiography titled, She Got Game: My Personal Odyssey, and she has published a book project with elementary school children titled Modern Day Fairy Tales.

Cooper speaks fluent Italian, and has a NIKE shoe named for her called the Air C14. Cynthia and her husband Brian are parents of five children, Tyquon, Anthony, Tyrone, and as of June 15, 2002, twins Brian Jr. and Cyan.

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Ted Leland—Co-Chair

Ted Leland is the Director of Athletics at Stanford University. Since his arrival in 1991, the University's athletic program has flourished.

Leland, who was named the 2000-01 National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics / Street & Smith's Sports-Business Journal Division I Athletic Director of the Year, directs a department that includes 34 intercollegiate varsity teams - 15 men's, 18 women's and one co-ed - and has an annual budget of approximately $45 million.

Stanford has won 42 national team championships under Leland's leadership, including 20 women's titles. The Cardinal has won nine women's national championships in the last five years alone, including three in 2001-02 (tennis, volleyball, water polo). Stanford ranks first in the nation with 28 all-time NCAA Women's Team Championships.

Leland has guided Stanford to eight consecutive Sears Directors' Cup Championships, which is emblematic of the top overall athletic program in the nation. Stanford has also twice been named the "top college for women athletes" by Sports Illustrated for Women.

Prior to joining Stanford's athletic department, Leland served as Athletic Director at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California and Dartmouth College.

Leland served on the Management Council of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for eight years and recently concluded a two-year term as its Chairman. He is currently a member of other the National Collegiate Directors of Athletics, NACDA.

Leland graduated from the University of the Pacific in 1970 and earned a master's degree from UOP in physical education in 1972. He earned his Ph.D. from Stanford in 1982 in education and sports psychology.

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Percy Bates

Percy Bates is a Professor in the School of Education at the University of Michigan and Director of Programs for Educational Opportunities, a cooperative agreement between the University of Michigan and the U.S. Department of Education that aims to help public school districts ensure that all students have an opportunity to succeed in school whatever their race, gender, or national origin.

Bates has served as the University's faculty representative to the Big Ten Conference and the NCAA for the last 12 years and has been elected to chair the Division 1 Management Council for 2002 upon which he has served since its establishment in 1992.

Bates served on the executive committee and as president of the Faculty Athletic Representative Association. He has been very active with the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) in serving as the Management Council liaison to the SAAC. He has served on the NCAA Management Council since its inception.

Bates was the Chairman of the Higher Education Commission of the National Alliance of Black School Educators and served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Education at the U.S. Department of Education.

Bates has made presentations and authored articles on the subjects of integrity and ethics in intercollegiate athletics, the importance of academics for student-athletes, and the importance of equity for all student athletes.

Bates received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

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Bob Bowlsby

Bob Bowlsby is entering his 12th season as the Director of Athletics at the University of Iowa. In this position he heads a team of coaches and athletic staff members that has led Iowa athletics to rank among the nation's best.

Bowlsby also served as Director of Men's Athletics and the Assistant Athletic Director for Facilities at the University of Northern Iowa.

Bowlsby was recently named National Athletic Director of the Year by Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal; a national publication devoted exclusively to the reporting of professional and intercollegiate athletics' and named Regional Athletic Director of the year by the National Association of Athletics Directors.

Bowlsby has served as chair of the Big Ten Championships and Awards Committee Council and was elected to chair the NCAA Management Council for its first two years of existence.

Bowlsby managed five NCAA Wrestling Championships as chair of the Wrestling Committee and has served on NCAA committees on Financial Aid and Amateurism, the Special Committee to Review Amateurism Issues and the Special Committee to Review Financial Conditions in Athletics. He was also a member of the Executive Committee, the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and the Division I-A Athletic Directors Association. He served as President of the Division I-A Directors group during the 2001-02 school year.

Bowlsby was elected chair of the NCAA Olympic Sports Liaison Committee and represented the NCAA as one

of two voting members on the United States Olympic Committee. He was also appointed to the NCAA/USOC Liaison Committee. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Iowa Games and the Iowa Scholarship Fund, Inc. and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Bowlsby earned his bachelor's degree from Moorhead State University in Minnesota and his master's degree from the University of Iowa.

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Gene DeFilippo

Eugene B. DeFilippo Jr., is the Director of Athletics at Boston College.

Prior to his current position, DeFilippo served as Director of Athletics at Villanova University where he was named to the NCAA Division I Management Council.

DeFilippo was Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs at the University of Kentucky, Director of Athletics at the University of South Carolina at Spartanburg, and Director of Administrative Services at Vanderbilt University. He was Offensive Backfield Coach at Vanderbilt University, Offensive Coordinator at Youngstown State University, and Graduate Assistant Football Coach at the University of Tennessee.

DeFilippo was named to the NCAA Division I Management Council, the NCAA Special Committee on Marketing, Promotions and Licensing, and the executive board of the Philadelphia Sports Congress. DeFilippo earned three varsity letters in football during his undergraduate career at Springfield College and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1973. He received a master's degree in educational administration from the University of Tennessee in 1974.

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Donna de Varona

Donna de Varona was an original member and the first President of the Women's Sports Foundation. She helped build this charitable educational organization, which is dedicated to ensuring equal access to participation and leadership opportunities for all girls and women in sports and fitness, into a strong and vital foundation.

A two time Olympian and a double Gold Medallist in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, de Varona broke 18 world best and world record times (including relays) during a swimming career which earned her recognition by the Associated Press and the United Press International as the most outstanding female athlete of 1964.

A pioneer broadcaster, de Varona has covered 12 Olympic Games for sport and news on network and cable television. In 1991 she earned an Emmy for her work as producer and reporter when she profiled a Special Olympic Athlete for ABC TV.

Before de Varona was appointed to the Secretary's Commission on Opportunity in Athletics, she served four terms on the President's Council on Physical Fitness as well as two other Presidential commissions. De Varona chaired the successful 1999 Women's World Cup Soccer tournament and currently co-chairs the United States Olympic Government Relations Committee. De Varona utilized her degree in political science from UCLA as a consultant to the U.S. Congress from 1976 to 1978 where she worked on the 1978 Amateur Sports Act.

Donna, her husband and two children reside in Connecticut.

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Julie Foudy

Julie Foudy is currently the president of the Women's Sports Foundation and captain of the U.S. National Women's Soccer Team. She is one of the most recognized players in women's soccer.

In the inaugural Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA) season, Foudy played in 19 games and tallied six assists. She co-captained the U.S. National Women's Soccer Team that won a silver medal at the 2000 Olympic Games and the championship team of the 1999 (FIFA) Women's World Cup. A 14-year veteran of the U.S. women's soccer team, Foudy won gold medals at the 1998 Goodwill Games and the 1996 Olympic Games. She received a bronze medal with the U.S. team at the 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup. Foudy also was a member of the 1991 U.S. team that won the inaugural FIFA Women's World Cup.

Foudy was a TV analyst for the NCAA Women's College Cups in 2000, 1999 and 1998. Her TV work began in 1998 when she broke new ground as an analyst for ESPN's coverage of the 1998 World Cup. In 1997, Foudy became the first woman and first American to receive the FIFA Fair Play Award for her work against child labor and Soccer Magazine named her Player of the Year. A four-time NCAA All-America selection at Stanford University, Foudy was voted Most Valuable Player in 1989, 1990 and 1991. She has been selected as a spokesperson for the Uniroyal Top Soccer program and as a contributing writer to Self magazine.

Foudy is a native of Mission Viejo, California. Foudy graduated Stanford University in 1993 with degree in Biology, she was accepted into Stanford Medical School but chose not to attend after two years of deferment.

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Tom Griffith

In August of 2000, Thomas B. Griffith was named General Counsel and Assistant to the President at Brigham Young University. Before accepting this post, Griffith was a partner in the Washington, D.C., law firm of Wiley, Rein and Fielding, specializing in government affairs, litigation and Internet law. Griffith also served from 1995 to 1999 as Senate Legal Counsel, the chief legal officer of the U.S. Senate. In that post, he represented the Senate, its committees, members, officers and employees in litigation relating to their constitutional powers and privileges, including the Line Item Veto litigation that led to two landmark Supreme Court decisions.

He also advised Senate committees about their investigatory powers and procedures, and he represented the institutional interests of the Senate during the impeachment trial of President Clinton as well as the Senate's investigations into the Whitewater, campaign finance and China technology transfer matters. In the time since President Clinton's impeachment trial, Griffith has spoken extensively about the experience to law school and university audiences, often appearing with lawyers from the President's legal team.

A BYU alumnus, Griffith received his law degree from the University of Virginia in 1985, where he was an editor of the Virginia Law Review.

He and his wife Susan are the parents of five daughters and a son.

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Cary Groth

Cary Groth is the director of the 17-sport athletics program at Northern Illinois University. With her appointment in 1994, she became only the third woman athletic director among the then 107 major-college institutions with Division I-A football programs.

Groth joined Northern Illinois in 1994, and under her watch, the school's intercollegiate athletics has made major strides in many areas. In 1995, the $4 million Huskie Stadium East Grandstand renovation was completed. Under her leadership, the school returned to the Mid-American Conference, after an 11-year absence, in the 1997-98 season. Recently, a three-decade dream was realized when the Board of Trustees of NIU approved the new $35.8 million Convocation Center.

Because of her influence and leadership at Northern Illinois, Groth was chosen by Street & Smith's Sport Business Journal to be among the "Super 50: Women Sports Executives" in their special "Women in Sports" issue in May 1998. Athletic Management magazine also selected her as the recipient of the ATALANTA Award for Women's Athletics in the category of role model in 1997. Groth has been selected for two terms on Illinois' special Commission on the Status of Women, and has served as president of the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators (NACWAA).

Cary Groth is a former teacher and coach and a native of Park Forest, IL. She earned her bachelor and masters degrees from NIU.

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Lisa Graham Keegan

Lisa Graham Keegan is the Chief Executive Officer of the Education Leaders Council. Prior to holding this position, she was Arizona's Superintendent of Public Instruction. In addition, she served on the state boards for universities, colleges and charter schools.

Keegan is known for her focus on educational improvement and reform, including efforts for student centered funding, charter schools, expanded school choice and an emphasis on marketplace incentives. She originally developed her policies during her service in Arizona's House of Representatives, where she chaired the Education Committee, and authored much of the reform legislation she now oversees. Keegan is a founding member of the Education Leaders Council, a group of reform-minded education chiefs from seven states. In March of 1999, Ms. Keegan was presented with the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation Award for Leadership in Educational Choice. In May of 1999, she was honored by the Republican Women Leaders Forum as Educator of the Year.

Keegan originally hales from Palo Alto, CA but moved with her family to Arizona, where she graduated from Scottsdale High School. Keegan earned a Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University, and a Master of Science in communications disorders degree from Arizona State University.

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Muffet McGraw

Muffet McGraw is head coach of the Notre Dame Women's Basketball team. She has been head coach at Notre Dame since 1987.

The architect of Notre Dame's rise to prominence on the national women's basketball landscape, McGraw is preparing to begin her 16th season as the head coach of the Fighting Irish. She is widely considered to be one of the elite coaches in the country, having guided Notre Dame to 13 20-win seasons, nine NCAA Tournament bids, four NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances, two Final Four berths and the 2001 NCAA national championship.

Along the way, McGraw has compiled a 342-127 (.729) record with the Irish, and she has been named Coach of the Year by four different conferences (BIG EAST, Midwestern Collegiate, North Star and East Coast). In addition, she was the consensus National Coach of the Year in 2001 after piloting Notre Dame to its first national title.

McGraw has coached seven All-Americans and 17 all-conference selections during her illustrious career. She also has molded seven players who went on to the professional ranks, including four starters from the 2001 NCAA championship team who have been drafted into the WNBA in the last two years. Her influence also stretches into the coaching ranks where she has trained 15 former players and/or assistants who are now coaching at the college or high school level.

A native of Pottsville, Pa., McGraw is a 1977 graduate of Saint Joseph's University, earning her Bachelor of Science degree in sociology. She went on to serve as an assistant coach at her alma mater from 1980-82, working under current Ohio State skipper Jim Foster. In 1982, she was named the head coach at Lehigh University, a post she held until her arrival at Notre Dame in 1987.

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Dr. Rita Simon

Rita J. Simon is founder and President of the Women's Freedom Network. She has been an University Professor in the School of Public Affairs and the Washington College of Law at American University since 1988.

Simon served as Dean of the School of Justice at American University from 1983 to 1988.

Simon has authored over 25 books and monographs and has edited 17 books on topics ranging from women's issues, immigration, criminology, and transracial adoption. Most recently, she edited Neither Victim Nor Enemy: Women's Freedom Network Looks At Gender In America, a collection of papers by leading writers and feminist writers on the status of U.S. gender relations.

Simon's work has been published in many publications including The Washington Times, New York Times and Wall Street Journal. She has also discussed her research and social policy issues on programs such as Good Morning America, The Today Show, and CBS This Morning.

Simon holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago. Before attaining her current post, she taught at the University of Illinois, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Yale University, and the University of Chicago.

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Mike Slive

On July 2, 2002, Mike Slive was introduced as the new Commissioner of the Southeastern Conference. Formerly, Slive was the Commissioner of Conference USA. He was the first commissioner of Conference USA and under his direction, Conference USA quickly emerged as one of the nation's top conferences.

Slive has an extensive administrative and legal background in intercollegiate athletics. He served as commissioner of the Conference USA since its formation in 1995, and played a pivotal role in Conference USA becoming one of the most successful and exciting conferences in the nation in the 1990's.

Slive is the chair of the first NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee. He is also chair of the National Letter of Intent Appeals Committee and the NCAA Football USA Board of Directors. Slive also served on the NCAA Management Council and its Membership Subcommittee and the Subcommittee to Review Automatic Qualification.

Slive's leadership has translated into valuable national television exposure for Conference USA with television partners Fox Sports Net (football, women's basketball, volleyball, soccer, softball and baseball), ESPN Inc. and ESPN Regional (men's basketball), as well as appearances on ABC and CBS.

Slive graduated from Dartmouth College with a Bachelor of Arts degree, earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia Law School, and an LLM from the Georgetown University Law Center.

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Graham Spanier

Graham Spanier is the President of Pennsylvania State University. Spanier oversees one of the nation's largest and most comprehensive universities, with 25,000 employees on 24 campuses, an annual budget of $2.4 billion, and a physical plant of 1,300 buildings.

Spanier's prior positions include chancellor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Oregon State University, and vice provost for undergraduate studies at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He previously served Penn State from 1973-1982 as a member of the faculty.

He is also a distinguished researcher and scholar, with more than 100 scholarly publications including 10 books. He is a family sociologist, demographer, and marriage and family therapist.

A national leader in higher education, Spanier is chair of the Board of Directors of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges. He served as chair of the NCAA Division I Board of Directors, chaired the Kellogg Commission on the Future of State and Land-Grant Universities, served on the Board of Trustees of the National 4-H Council, and was a founding member of the Board of Directors of the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development (Internet2), was president of the National Council on Family Relations, and chairman of the Board of Directors of the Christian Children's Fund.

Spanier earned his Ph.D. in sociology from Northwestern University, where he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, and his bachelor's and master's degrees from Iowa State University.

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Dr. Deborah Yow

Deborah A. Yow is the director of athletics at the University of Maryland.

She served as president of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics in 2000-01, an organization with a membership of more than 6,100 athletic administrators representing 1,600 colleges and universities in North America and Mexico.

During her tenure at the University of Maryland, she has transformed Terrapin athletics into a responsive, goal-oriented organization. She has managed the balancing of all eight of the department's annual budgets, and academic support services among student-athletes has increased markedly during her tenure. Yow has led the Terrapins to a national all sports ranking in the upper 15 percent of all NCAA Division I institutions.

Yow has expanded marketing and fundraising efforts on behalf of Terrapin athletics, improved venues and facilities for her teams, developed an Internet strategy, and implemented a strategic management model for the success of her department.

Yow is a former collegiate basketball coach at the University of Kentucky and the University of Florida.

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Last Modified: 03/06/2007