Carol Stiff was promoted to vice president, programming & acquisitions in ESPN’s programming department in April 2010. In her current role, Stiff is involved in the programming acquisition and scheduling for a variety of sports on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU, including NCAA women’s basketball, NCAA championships (the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship, Football Championship Series, College World Series, Women’s College World Series, lacrosse), WNBA, professional softball and more.
Stiff previously was senior director, programming & acquisitions, a position she assumed in November 2005. Before that advancement, she had been director, programming & acquisitions and program manager, programming & acquisitions. Stiff, who joined ESPN in 1990, worked as a program planner before receiving a promotion to program planner II in 1997 and senior program planner in 2000. Before joining ESPN, she gained experience in the college coaching profession.
From 1988-89, Stiff was the first assistant women’s basketball coach and recruiter at Brown University after serving as head women’s basketball coach and physical education instructor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. from 1985-88. Stiff began her coaching career at Western Connecticut State University where she served as head field hockey coach and assistant women’s basketball coach from 1983-85. She also worked as a part-time elementary school physical education teacher.
A member of ESPN’s employee committee in support of The V Foundation for Cancer Research, Stiff has been a leader on behalf of the company’s efforts to benefit The Foundation. She was instrumental in the development of the Jimmy V Week and in raising awareness for the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund in partnership with The V Foundation. In 2012, she was selected as a unanimous selection to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund Board of Directors.
Stiff is a member of several professional groups, including the Women’s Sports Foundation, appointed to the USA Women’s Basketball Standing Committee, the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Directors, the Collegiate Women’s Sports Awards Board and has served as a panelist and/or lecturer for several sports-related events. Adding to her list of credentials, Stiff was inducted into the Connecticut Basketball Hall of Fame in April 2005; was named the “Top Advocate for Women’s Basketball” by the Tampa Tribune in 2008; in 2009 Sports Business Journal recognized her as one of the most influential executives leading the way in women’s sports; and was recently awarded the 2011WBCA Mel Greenberg Media Award for her commitment to women’s basketball and advancing the role of the media in the game.
Stiff graduated from Southern Connecticut State University in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education. While in school, she competed in both basketball and field hockey. In 1989, Stiff received her master’s degree in human performance/physical education from SCSU. She is a native of Bernardsville, N.J.