As an agent Anderson had more than 45 clients, including current NFL coaches Herman Edwards and Marvin Lewis and Notre Dame coach Tyrone Willingham. When he felt his African-American coaching clients weren't getting a fair deal, Anderson wasn't afraid to speak out publicly. "I established myself as an advocate [for minority coaches] early on because I was always polished and because I had [better credentials] than most agents," he says.
A former labor lawyer, Anderson entered the sports arena in 1980 when he launched the West Coast office for the now-defunct Sports Advisers Group. At first some potential clients and team negotiators didn't want to deal with Anderson. He pressed on, acquiring clients, and in 1987 he formed his own agency, AR Sports. Fourteen years later Anderson sold his lucrative business to Octagon, where he stayed as director of the company's coaches division until last June, when Arthur Blank, the Falcons' new owner, came calling. Says Anderson, "I was excited about the opportunity to put together a winning team."
HERMAN FRAZIER, 48
Athletic Director, Hawaii
In addition to overseeing a $16 million budget at Hawaii, Frazier, an Olympic track gold medalist in '76, was recently named chef de mission for the 2004 Summer Games in Athens. He'll oversee logistical details for the U.S. team.
HERMAN EDWARDS, 49
Coach, New York Jets
With his impassioned intensity and back-to-back playoff appearances, he has won over Jets fans and the media. In 2001 Edwards became the first alumnus of the NFL's Minority Coaching Fellowship program to land a top job.
KELVIN SAMPSON, 47
Basketball Coach, Oklahoma
In nine seasons in Norman, Sampson has returned hoops to prominence at this football power. A Lumbee Indian, he has a 390-229 record and has made 10 straight NCAA tournaments, reaching the Final Four in 2002.
ALEX RODRIGUEZ, 27
Shortstop, Texas Rangers
He changed baseball's salary structure when he signed a $252 million contract in 2000. The youngest player to reach 300 homers, A-Rod pledged $3.9 million over six years last October to the University of Miami.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA, 30
A world champion in five weight classes, De La Hoya has become the most marketable nonheavy-weight in boxing. He's also the first Hispanic to own a national boxing promotional firm, which markets other Latino fighters.
DEANA GARNER, 37
Associate Director of Agent, Gambling, and Amateurism Activities, NCAA
Your luck is usually up if Garner starts scrutinizing you. A prosecutor in Indianapolis for more than seven years, she is one of the NCAA's leading investigators, coordinating 75 to 80 investigations at any one time.
LARRY MILLER, 53
President, Jordan Brand
How do you extend Michael Jordan's influence into the 21st century? That's the job of Miller, who runs Nike's $320 million Jordan division, which debuted in 1997 and features footwear, apparel and accessories.
TONY DUNGY, 47
Coach, Indianapolis Colts
One of three black head coaches in the NFL, Dungy heads the Colts after leading Tampa Bay to respectability. As a Chiefs' coach in 1990 he gave Herman Edwards (No. 60) his first NFL job, as a scout, then as an assistant.