• Reconnecting with Paul Wilson

    by Paul Steinbach April 2010

    Opening day of the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association conference is history, and I can't think of a better person to have spent a good chunk of it with than NIRSA historian Paul Wilson, who dropped by the Athletic Business booth to reconnect.

  • Augie's Army

    by Paul Steinbach March 2010

    It was a night of dress blues and olive drab, and ultimately a lot of green. The fifth annual B*A*S*H for MDA's Augie's Quest raised more than $822,000 toward amytorphic lateral sclerosis research Friday during the 29th International Health Racquet and Sportsclub Association Convention & Trade Show in San Diego.

  • AB Conference: Friday With Mitch

    by Michael Popke December 2009

  • AB Conference: Dodgeball - Another True Underdog Story

    by Paul Steinbach December 2009

    In his session this morning titled "Burned Out or Fired Up!" Rick Hanetho, executive director of the Northbrook (Ill.) Park District, presented attendees with his C3+P6=Success formula. The Cs include contact, connections, these are the things that count. Passion, purpose, people, process and performance, planning and perserverance comprise the Ps. (Seems like seven Ps to me, but who's counting?)

  • AB Conference: Do You Google Yourself?

    by Nicholas Brown December 2009

    That is the question Hilary Bride asked the approximately 110 people attending her seminar, "Networking Sites: What Youth Sports Administrators Need to Know." Bride, in fact, encourages the practice, as it helps one better understand one's "e-self."

  • 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.