This qualitative research focused on identifying and addressing the enabling and inhibiting factors that have influenced the careers of African American National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I head basketball coaches. The researcher used a phenomenological approach to discover and understand the lived experiences of African American NCAA Division I men's head basketball coaches that are considered to be successful leaders in their field in order to gain their perspective and personal insight into barriers and potential solutions to those barriers in this particular field. Active and systemic discrimination, along with institutionalized racism and bias, are essential factors in this dissertation and continue to be central issues in the hiring practices within NCAA men's basketball head coaching and continue to be challenges for African American NCAA Division I men's head basketball coaches along with certain aspects of this current society hiring practices along with other aspects of this society. While highlighting racial inequalities in hiring practices and retention rates for African American NCAA men's head basketball coaches. The research discussed the history of African Americans' relationship with basketball from a player and coaching perspective. The research also discussed how African American NCAA Division I men's head basketball coaches identify, measure, and track success and maintain high-performance levels within the team and for themselves. Finally, the research intended to contribute to the existing knowledge and assist current and prospective coaches, universities, and the NCAA in hiring and retention policies and procedures for all head basketball coaches. Purposive sampling was used to interview 12 successful African American NCAA Division I men's head basketball coaches. The research findings and the accompanying literature suggested that several best practices are needed to become a successful African American head basketball coach at the collegiate level.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

African American basketball coaches; Leadership; Success; National Collegiate Athletic Association

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Farzin Madjidi