By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer 

The West Coast Conference recently introduced a hiring policy for schools in the conference. It’s named after the legendary Bill Russell. 

“The Russell Rule” is an initiative requires all WCC schools to include a a member of a traditionally underrepresented community in the final pool of candidates each time an athletic director, senior administrator, head coach or full-time assistant coach is hired.  The WCC is the first Division 1 conference to make such a commitment. 

This policy should help with the diversity in college sports. It also may help ‘level’ the playing field for many qualified candidates.  

Russel was a star basketball player at the University of San Francisco he led the Dons to National Championships in 1955 and 1956. The Hall of Famer also won 12 NBA titles with the Boston Celtics. He was heavily involved in social advocacy in the sixties. 

“The Russell rule is a result of ground breaking work by Presidents Council and Equity, Diversity and inclusion Committee” said WCC Commissioner Gloria Nevarez the first WCC Latinx to lead a Division 1 Conference. 

Bill Russell himself also commented: “It is my hope the WCC will encourage other leagues and schools to make similar commitments.”