Graduate Faculty Profile

Richard Lapchick

Richard Lapchick blurred shadow drop
Richard Lapchick
Richard Lapchick

College of Business Administration

Research Focus:

Racism, social justice, and human trafficking in sport

Human rights activist, pioneer for racial equality, internationally recognized expert on sports issues, scholar and author Richard E. Lapchick, PhD, is often described as “the racial conscience of sport.” He brought his commitment to equality and his belief that sport can be an effective instrument of positive social change to the University of Central Florida where he accepted an endowed chair in August 2001. Lapchick became the only person named as “One of the 100 Most Powerful People in Sport” to head up a sport management program. He remains president of the Institute for Sport and Social Justice, (formerly the National Consortium for Academics and Sports) and helped bring the ISSJ national office to UCF.

The DeVos Sport Business Management Program at UCF is a landmark program that focuses on the business skills necessary for graduates to conduct a successful career in the rapidly changing and dynamic sports industry. In following with Lapchick’s tradition of human rights activism, the curriculum includes courses with an emphasis on diversity, leadership, community service, sport and social issues and ethics in addition to UCF’s strong business curriculum. The DeVos Program has been named one of the nation’s top five programs by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Forbes and ESPN The Magazine. In 2009 it was named the nation’s top MBA program for volunteer service. In 2015, SportBusiness International named the DeVos Program as one of the TOP 2 graduate sport business management programs in the world.  He established The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) as part of the DeVos Program.  It publishes the highly acclaimed Racial and Gender Report Cards.

Lapchick has received ten honorary degrees. He has helped launch programs on diversity and inclusion, gender violence prevention, human trafficking all using the sports platform.

Lapchick has written 17 books, more than 600 articles and has given more than 3,000 public speeches. He has spoken in the US Congress, at the United Nations, in the European Parliament and at the Vatican.

Lapchick is a regular columnist for and The Sports Business Journal. 

He was named the Florida Public Citizen of the Year in 2006. He has been the recipient of numerous humanitarian awards including the Lifetime Achievement Award for Work in Civil Rights from the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow/Push Coalition in 2009. He was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame of the Commonwealth Nations in the category of Humanitarian along with Arthur Ashe and Nelson Mandela. Lapchick has won the Arthur Ashe Voice of Conscience Award, the Women’s Sports Foundation Presidents Award, and the Ralph Bunche International Peace Award.

Lapchick was inducted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015. He was also inducted into the Sports and Society Hall of Fame in 2003, the Central Florida Sports Hall of Fame in 2010 and the Multi-Ethnic Hall of Fame in 2011.

He was named as one of Beyond Sports Inspirational 50 people (living and passed) who used sport to change the world along with Billie Jean King, Muhammad Ali and Nelson Mandela.

Lapchick was one of 200 guests personally invited by Nelson Mandela to his inauguration after leading the American sports boycott of South Africa from 1975 until the end of Apartheid.  He has been madly in love with his wife Ann for 34 years. They have three children and four granddaughters.


  • Named one of the 100 Most Powerful People in Sport
  • President of the Institute for Sport and Social Justice
  • Established the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports (TIDES)
  • Columnist for and The Sports Business Journal
  • Inducted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame 2015

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