General

Russell Rule Highlights West Coast Conference’s Strong Diversity Hiring Commitment Over Three Years

57% of hires in three years of WCC’s groundbreaking policy are from a traditionally underrepresented community

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – The West Coast Conference’s Russell Rule conference-wide diversity hiring commitment has led to 57% of the 312 hires over the first three years of its groundbreaking policy from a traditionally underrepresented community.
 
“On behalf of the Presidents, I appreciate the strong commitment to the Russell Rule,” Dr. Thayne McCulloh, President of Gonzaga University and the Chair of the WCC Presidents’ Council said. “The WCC adopted this conference-wide diversity hiring commitment in 2020, and this groundbreaking policy is part of the core values and beliefs of the Conference. The leadership on each campus and the Conference office continues to demonstrate its steadfast commitment to providing a diverse and inclusive environment for the student-athletes of this great conference.”
 
The Russell Rule, named after the late Bill Russell and adopted in August of 2020, requires the athletic department at each member institution and the Conference office to include a member of a traditionally underrepresented community in the pool of final candidates for every athletic director, senior administrator, head coach and full-time assistant coach position.
 
In each of the first three years of the Russell Rule, more than half of all hires are a member of a traditionally underrepresented community. In total, 179 of the 312 (57.4%) hires in the first three years are a member of a traditionally underrepresented community.
 
From August 1, 2022, to July 31, 2023, 100% of the searches across the Conference met the Russell Rule requirement, with 63 hires out of 100 searches (63%) from a traditionally underrepresented community. Overall, 200 candidates from a traditionally underrepresented community were part of the final candidate pools in those 100 searches.
 
In the first year of the Russell Rule (2020-21), 51.8% of the total hires (44 out of 85) are a member of a traditionally underrepresented community. In the second year of the hiring commitment (2021-22), 56.7% of the total hires (72 of 127) are a member of a traditionally underrepresented community.
 
“The commitment to a diverse and inclusive environment throughout the West Coast Conference is a principal part of the mission and values of the Conference,” WCC Commissioner Stu Jackson said. “The three-year hiring data exemplifies the leadership and strong conference-wide commitment to creating a more inclusive environment throughout our membership. The late Bill Russell is a legendary figure who championed social justice efforts throughout his life, and we are appreciative of the opportunity to honor his connection to the WCC and all that he fought for with this hiring commitment.” 

KEY TAKEAWAYS OF THE RUSSELL RULE HIRING COMMITMENT IN YEAR THREE
  • Over the first three years of the Russell Rule hiring commitment, 179 of 312 (57.4%) hires are candidates from a traditionally underrepresented community.
  • During the 2022-23 time period, 100% of the 100 searches met the Russell Rule hiring commitment and 63% (63 out of 100) of those hires are candidates who identify as a member of a traditionally underrepresented community.
  • Across the 100 searches during the 2022-23 time period, 200 out of 318 total candidates in the hiring pools identify as a member of a traditionally underrepresented community.
  • In 13 head coach searches in the 2022-23 hiring period across the nine member institutions, there were 28 overall candidates and nine hires who identify as a member of a traditionally underrepresented community.
  • In five senior staff searches in the 2022-23 hiring period, there were 10 overall candidates and four hires from a traditionally underrepresented community.
The 2022-23 Russell Rule Report is available here