Dr. Amy Giddings is the department’s longest serving faculty member, having come to Drexel in 2006. Dr. Giddings currently serves as an Associate Clinical Professor of Sport Management and the Founder and Director of the Sport Coaching Leadership programs at Drexel University. She created the minor in Sport Coaching Leadership for undergraduate students and most recently, a Master’s degree program in Sport Coaching Leadership. She has received numerous grants including one from the NCAA to support initiatives related to increasing minority and female participation in the field of coaching. Encouraging women to consider a career in coaching has always been a passion and it led Dr. Giddings to create The Women’s Coaching Network, which includes both the Women in Coaching blog and the Real Women of Coaching video series. In addition to teaching courses in Drexel’s coaching program, she also works with community organizations assisting with coach development in under-resourced communities. The founder of the Philadelphia Coaches Conference, Dr. Giddings brings together coaches at the youth, scholastic, collegiate and professional levels to share their knowledge with one another in a two-day event. The establishment of this collaborative event was a catalyst for her work with the School District of Philadelphia’s Office of Athletics - providing education and professional development programming to all of their coaches over the next several years.
Dr. Giddings has accumulated considerable expertise from her experience in many areas of sport management and sport coaching throughout her career. Her experiences range from community recreation to international sport and include positions with the Olympic Games, collegiate recreation and intercollegiate athletics, and non-profit sport organizations. However, when asked about her work experience, her athletic and coaching experience will always come forth as most significant. Dr. Giddings attended the University of Dayton where she rowed for four years and earned a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After spending time abroad post-graduation, she took advantage of a unique opportunity in NCAA legislation allowing participants in sports classified as “emerging” to complete four full years of eligibility after the sport became recognized by the NCAA. As this was the case with rowing, Dr. Giddings rowed on a full scholarship at Temple University completing her Master’s in Sport and Recreation Administration and her Ph.D. in Sport Psychology.
A two-time U.S. National Champion and more than ten top three finishes in the U.S. Rowing Championships, Giddings' rowing resume is extensive. She finished in the top 10 at the World Indoor Rowing Championships in 2000, won the 2001 I-lan International Invitational in Taiwan in the women’s lightweight quad, and was part of the women's senior quad that captured gold at the prestigious Royal Canadian Henley Regatta in 2002. She also has three gold medals from the famed Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, MA in the lightweight women’s four event.
Building on her rowing experience, Dr. Giddings has coached the sport for over 20 years at the scholastic, collegiate, and elite levels. She and her husband, Paul Coomes, were instrumental in creating the rowing program at Conestoga High School, a suburban Philadelphia-area school, where Giddings served as novice coach from 2001 until 2010 and her husband was head coach of the team for 17 years. Giddings led her crews to countless city, state, and national medals. In her time with Conestoga, her boats successfully won 11 Philadelphia City Championships. Her most recent coaching experience was serving as the temporary Head Coach for Temple University Women’s Rowing team to cover a brief leave of their Head Coach.
Another passion of Dr.Giddings’s is academic quality and curricular processes in University systems. She has served on the Senate Committee for Academic Affairs since 2008 and also served as chair of the committee for three of those years. She enjoys thinking about ways in which Drexel University can create academic programs in niche markets to be a leader in this area.
In addition to her teaching, service, and coaching work, Dr. Giddings has led each of the department's study abroad programs over the past decade, taking students on faculty-led study programs in Ireland, England, Italy, and the Dominican Republic. She also created a unique partnership with the American University of Rome where students in the Center for Hospitality and Sport Management have the opportunity to travel with Drexel faculty from their major for an entire term abroad.