AB Conference: Coaching the Coaches
by Michael Popke December 2009
I had a nice sit-down this morning with John Engh, chief operating officer of the National Alliance for Youth Sports. It's been almost a year since the nonprofit organization introduced the Coach Rating System - a tool that allows parents to provide positive (and negative) feedback to coaches, coaches to discover their own strengths and weaknesses, and program administrators to ensure their coaches are the right men and women for the job. I thought now would be a good time to check in and see how it's going. So far, about 130 NAYS member chapters have taken advantage of the free tool, and initial reaction has been positive. "All of the things that we were focused on in the past - coaches' training, background checks - are still challenges for us," Engh told me. "But now we're trying to draw a parallel between a volunteer coach and an employee." What about those youth sports organizations that already struggle to find coaches? Will they be tempted to set the bar low for coaches who receive negative feedback, worried about creating the need to find a mid-season replacement for a poor-performing coach? "We don't dictate to the leagues what they should do; we give them guidelines for what we think they should do," Engh says. "We're being proactive by saying that this tool is very useful to those coaches who may be borderline. Now all the parents are watching them, and those parents have a voice." Don't worry if your not a NAYS member; Engh says the association is working on ways to get the Coach Rating System out to as many organizations as possible. "If every coach in America is getting evaluated like this 10 years from now, we've done our job."
Executive Director Departs, But the Beat Will (Still) Go On
by Andrew Cohen September 2009
Remembering Ed Thomas
by Michael Popke September 2009
Last Friday night, less than 10 weeks after Aplington-Parkersburg (Iowa) High School football coach Ed Thomas was gunned down by a former player, the Falcons swarmed onto the field that bears his name and defeated their northeastern Iowa neighbor Dike-New Hartford, 30-14. It was the first time in 35 years that Thomas wasn't on the sidelines, and ESPN was there to capture every play.
Oklahoma Player Provides Noteriety to Eight-Man Football
by Michael Popke August 2008
An Oklahoma player's major-college scholarship kicks off renewed consideration of eight-man football.
Rick Giles Intends to Reinvent the College Basketball Invitational
by Paul Steinbach June 2008
Rick Giles discusses how he intends to position the new College Basketball Invitational tournament within the context of March Madness.
14-Year-Old Discusses Turning Sports Into Charitable Effort
by Paul Steinbach April 2008
The 14-year-old founder of Hoops of Hope discusses how kids can use sports to get involved in charitable efforts.
One on One: College Football Coach John Gagliardi Discusses Unconventional Methods
by Paul Steinbach November 2007
John Gagliardi discusses the unconventional coaching methods which have led him to win more college football games than any other coach in history.
One on One: Roger Tobin Studies Steroids' Effects on Home Run Stats
by Paul Steinbach October 2007
Professor Tobin uses physics modeling to study the effects of steroid usage on home run results.
One on One: Richard Southall Introduces His College Sport Research Institute
by Nicholas Brown September 2007
University of Memphis assistant professor Richard Southall on his new veture, the College Sport Research Institute.
One On One: Andrew Dillon Campaigns to Bring Major League Soccer to Philadelphia
by Nicholas Brown August 2007
Andrew Dillon campaigns to bring a Major League Soccer franchise to Philadelphia.