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Drexel's Philadelphia Coaches Conference to Tackle Industry Culture, Challenges and Opportunities

May 09, 2018


Drexel will host the fourth annual Philadelphia Coaches Conference on May 15.

Philadelphia’s sport coaching professionals will come together for the fourth annual Philadelphia Coaches Conference, hosted by Drexel University’s Sport Coaching Leadership program in the School of Education on Tuesday, May 15 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The conference, organized “for coaches by coaches,” assembles coaches of all levels and backgrounds for a series of educational sessions led by a diverse group of experienced and knowledgeable coaches.

Last year’s conference hosted more than 350 coaches and this year it will again be hosted at the historic Palestra on the University of Pennsylvania’s campus. The conference is dedicated to coaching professionals and students, addressing current issues in coaching through industry-led panel discussions and multiple breakout sessions.

“The conference has really grown over the past four years since its inception,” said Amy Giddings, PhD, conference director and program director of the Sport Coaching Leadership program at Drexel. “We have found that coaches have very few opportunities to connect and learn from one another, especially outside of their own organization or sport.” 

The keynote address, entitled “A Delicate Balance: The Value of Perspective and Authenticity in 21st Century Coaching,” will be delivered by local sports journalist Mike Sielski, columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and Sielski was named as the top sports columnist in America by the Associated Press Sports Editors in 2015. The author of two books, he previously spent three years as a reporter with The Wall Street Journal and he has established a recognizable presence on local and national television and radio, including on ESPN, The NFL Network, and National Public Radio. In the Philadelphia market, Sielski has appeared regularly on the region’s two top-rated sports-talk stations, 94.1 FM and 97.5 FM, and on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Awards to honor the region’s coaches will be presented as “The Philadelphia Coach of the Year” in four categories – youth, scholastic, collegiate and professional. The “Youth Coach of the Year Award” will be presented to Matt George, basketball coach for KIPP Lanning Square Middle School; “Scholastic Coach of the Year” will go to Matt Griffin, of Roman Catholic High School; “Collegiate Coach of the Year” will go to Jad Prachniak, men’s basketball head coach at West Chester University; and “Professional Coach of the Year” will go to Doug Pederson of the Philadelphia Eagles.

“Coaches stand to learn a great deal from coaches of other levels and other sports if given the opportunity to do so — which is why we feel this conference has been so successful,” Giddings said. “A youth squash coach might share a unique way to teach tactical skill acquisition that a professional soccer coach hears and is then able to translate to their practice planning. Coaching is an art. Coaches use their scientific information to support athletic and team development, but the real challenge is the art of coaching. Our conference provides the creative space for coaches to challenge themselves and share with others.”

The conference is open to all coaches, aspiring coaches, teams and leagues. Registration includes access to all keynotes, presentations and panels on Tuesday, continental breakfast, lunch and the concluding reception. To register, click here.

For more information on Drexel's master of science degree in Sport Coaching Leadership, click here.