EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Concordia Wisconsin Wrestling head coach Kevin Koch had the distinction of being one of 24 who received a scholarship to attend the eighth annual National Wrestling Coaches Association Leadership Academy in mid-May.
"It was a great experience to learn from some of the best coaches in wrestling," Koch stated. "I now have a great opportunity to integrate some of the ideas into the CUW wrestling program. I am grateful to the NWCA for the scholarship and the opportunity to attend the academy."
The eighth annual NWCA/FCAW CEO Leadership Academy was a collaborative effort between the National Wrestling Coaches Association, Fellowship of Christian Athletes Wrestling and the Leadership Academy to focus on coaches at faith-based institutions.
The joint NWCA-FCAW Leadership Academy is part of a much larger NWCA coaching development initiative. The NWCA, through a collaborative effort with internationally renowned coaching development expert, Dr. Dan Gould at Michigan State University, has constructed a gold standard leadership program to help college coaches accomplish the following: Strengthen their CEO skills, strengthen the alignment of wrestling programs with educational values and insulate their programs from being discontinued.
"Smaller faith-based institutions have a set of values that present their own unique challenges," said NWCA Executive Director Mike Moyer. "With the help of Dr. Dan Gould, the architect for both of our Leadership Academies and with the backing of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, we again had a tremendous educational program with a great panel of speakers, coaches and individuals who can help with the nature of these institutions."
The panel included legendary and Hall of Fame retired head coaches Jack Spates (Oklahoma) and Jim Miller (Wartburg), along with highly successful current college coaches Maryville head coach Mike Denney, Wheaton coach Jim Gruenwald, Grand View head coach Nick Mitchell, and Chattanooga head coach Heath Eslinger. Dr. Gould, who is world-renowned in the world of Sports Psychology, facilitated this year's Leadership Academy.
The presence of the United States Marine Corps was again notable as Capt. Thomas Pinnell was the featured luncheon speaker. He spoke about the importance of perseverance and the relationship between the Marines and the sport of wrestling. Capt. Nubari Kogbara was also present representing the Marines.
In 2018, 24 collegiate, high school and club coaches attended the Leadership Academy.