Clive Charles carved out a legendary career at the club and national team levels. 

LOS ANGELES – Soccer Collective On Racial Equity (SCORE), supported by Black Players for Change and the USL Black Players Alliance, announced Wednesday the launch of the “Clive Charles Diversity Hiring Initiative.”

The initiative’s goal is to create and increase pathways of entrance, advancement and representation for emerging and current Black soccer coaches. The program is named in honor of the late legendary University of Portland and U.S. Soccer coach Clive Charles.

“My championship success at every level of the entire American soccer ecosystem can be directly traced to Clive Charles, who had a massive impact on me as I was starting my professional journey,” said Allen Hopkins, SCORE executive board member and who crafted the initiative. “Clive was a great man and this initiative is designed and engineered to support and inspire today’s generation of Black coaching talent.”

The Clive Charles Initiative (CCI) is an opt-in pledge by Division I men’s soccer programs to include a Black group of candidates in the pool for coaching vacancies. The CCI reflects a commitment to ensure equal opportunity in the hiring of coaches and to address the barriers that have faced underrepresented minority groups.

The 2021 CCI Charter Class: Sasho Cirovski – Maryland (B1G), Nick Carlin-Voight – Portland (WCC), Chaka Daley – Michigan (B1G), Terry Davila – Cal-State Northridge (Big West), Chris Gbandi – Northeastern (CAA), Leo Griffin – University of San Francisco (WCC), Kevin Grimes – Cal (Pac-12), Ryan Hopkins – San Diego State (Pac-12), Bobby Muuss – Wake Forest (ACC), Bo Oshoniyi – Dartmouth (Ivy), Ray Reid – Connecticut (Big East)

1.0 – Programs will use best practice hiring recommendations and interview at least one diverse candidate from the “Ready List” or a diverse candidate not currently employed by the program.

1.1 – Formal interview requests will be sent from the coach in writing to candidates. SCORE will maintain interview records and reporting.

1.2 – If the final decision-maker is involved in the beginning, or at any other time in the hiring process either formal or otherwise, he/she must be involved through the conclusion of the process. The final decision-makers must conduct interviews in similar platforms, venues and length of time.

1.3 – SCORE will prepare, maintain and update the “Ready List” of top candidates, and will distribute to coaches and college administrators beginning May 1.

“The Clive Charles initiative represents both acknowledgement of the current lack of Black coaches and tangible action to create processes to move towards equitable opportunities in the sport of soccer,” BPC executive director Justin Morrow said. “We are encouraged by the enthusiasm in response to this initiative by Division l Soccer programs and hope that our progress will be a guiding light as we continue our fight for equality.”

Added executive committee member for the USL Black Players Alliance: “Making a commitment like the Clive Charles initiative to increasing opportunities for Black coaching talent will not only increase equity in our sport but also inspire players and coaches at every level of the game.”

Clive Charles Initiative Implementation

As part of its commitment to increase Black representation in soccer, SCORE will maintain a “Ready List” of Black men and women soccer coaches (and / or former players interested in coaching). College coaches and athletic departments that have committed to the Clive Charles Diversity initiative agree to interview at least one candidate from the SCORE list when positions in the school’s soccer programs become open. At launch, 11 Division 1 men’s college programs have partnered with SCORE on this initiative. If interested in hearing more information about or how to become part of the ready list, please contact SCORE directly.

“Clive is a legend in the game and pioneer of not just soccer at the University of Portland but in the city today,” said Nick Carlin-Voight, University of Portland’s men’s head coach. “He literally impacted the game at every level in our country. The Clive Charles initiative is needed in our sport, and we are excited to be fully behind this initiative.”

Born in London, England in 1951, Charles began his professional career in Europe before joining the Portland Timbers of the North American Soccer League in the late 1970s. Upon retirement, he moved back to Oregon and became Portland’s men’s head coach in 1986 and the women’s head coach in 1989. Combined, he led the Pilots to 20 NCAA Division I playoff berths, 13 conference titles, nine College Cup appearances and one NCAA Championship. A seven-time West Coast Conference coach of the year, Charles also coached the U.S. Under-20 Women’s national team and the U.S. U-23 men’s national team to a fourth-place finish at the 2000 Olympic Games. He lost his battle with cancer in 2003.