April 8, 2010


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AVCA Division III Head Coaches Committee Meeting

Meeting Minutes

April 8, 2010 - 11 a.m. ET

Present: Becky Schmidt (Chair), Josh Edmed (NESCAC),  Amanda Cuiffo (Great Northeast), Katrina Dagan (North Atlantic),  Jonathan Penn (Liberty), Deana Jespersen (Pennsylvania), Margie Knight (Capital), Andrea Hoover (ODAC), Tiffany Davis (ASC), Nicole Hess (MIAC), DeAnn Woodin (IIAC), Bridget Sheehan (NCAC), Vicki Brault (OAC), Jeanne Hess (MIAA), Tammy Swearingen (President's), Jill Jolliff (WIAC), Jennifer Saylor (Midwest), Kathy Gebhardt (NAC), Kim Kelly (UAA), Laura Bindon (Calvin), Laura Jensen (Wittenberg), Bethany Dulle (Millikin), Jason Jones (AVCA)

Not Present: Bob Weiner (Little East), Dorothy Webb (NEWMAC), Bret Stothart (Commonwealth Coast), Steve Pike (SUNYAC), Kelly Greapentrog (Empire 8), Lisa Greiner (Independents & Skyline), David Shumaker (NEAC), Ray Bello (CUNYAC), Don Perkins (NJAC), Alexa Keckler (Centennial), Randall Kreider (Commonwealth), Michele Zabinski (Freedom), Phil Pisano (AMCC), Lindsay Birch (USA South), Sam Lambert (SCAC), Kandis Schram (GSAC), Kristen Ely (SLIAC), Deb Zellers (Independents), David Kwan (Heartland), Deb Kiick (CCIW), Dianna Graves (SCIAC), Mark Massey (Northwest)




I.  Roll Call

Becky asked the committee to respond back to her with the answer to the following: What are the primary duties of your assistant coaches?


Here are the most common responsibilities given to assistant coaches:
On Court Practice Assistance and Practice Planning
Recruiting Support
Game Planning and Preparation
Game Day Set-up
Position Specific Responsibilities
Video Coordinator
Statistics Compilation/Analysis
Team Travel
Player Evaluations
Athlete Conditioning
Promotional Activities

Here are some others:
Equipment Inventory
Camp Planning
Community Service Project Planning
Goal Setting Program Administration
Driving Vans

II.  AVCA Update (Jason Jones)  

AVCA Spring Conference pre-registration will be open through April 16. Registrations will be taken onsite in Palo Alto after that date. Details regarding the spring conference can be found here

The nomination period for the AVCA Hall of Fame is open now through May 14. Nomination forms are available in the "Awards" area of the AVCA Web site. Nominations are considered for three years after they are submitted.

The AVCA is in the process of putting together the seminar schedule for the 2010 convention in Kansas City. Jason asked that any coach who was interested in leading a session to please contact him at jason.jones@avca.org for details.

During the last conference call the open dates forum was discussed and a question was raised regarding the possibility of coaches being notified when a new open date is posted. Jason updated the committee that the AVCA is planning to have a function on the site where coaches can sign-up to receive an e-mail when a new open date is posted. There are currently several projects ahead on this on the list of additions to the site so no timetable has been set yet for completion. Jason will keep the committee updated on the progress.

The AVCA is offering a 2 or 1 membership promotion for assistant coaches. College programs that have an assistant coach that renews a membership or signs-up for a new membership before July 1 can get a second assistant coach membership free. This offer is only available by submitting a paper membership sign-up form here


III.  Assistant Coaches Discussion

Becky invited DIII assistant coaches Laura Bindon (LB) from Calvin, Laura Jensen (LJ) from Wittenberg and Bethany Dulle (BD) from Millikin to share their experiences as an assistant coach with the committee.

Please share some background information about yourself.

LB: Has been an assistant coach at Calvin for seven seasons and also played there. She is a part-time coach and full-time Calvin employee. Her favorite part of coaching is having an impact on players and how they impact you as a coach. The head coach makes her experience more valuable by giving more responsibility and respecting her opinion. She would like to be a head coach one day

LJ: She just finished her first season as an assistant. Graduated from Kent St. in May 2009. She is a full-time assistant volleyball coach and also has some game day management duties for baseball. Coaching helps her see different parts of the game, she enjoys training different positions and getting to know the girls. Laura's head coach made her experience more valuable by giving her responsibilities early on which increased her confidence. At this point her aspirations are to learn as much as possible. She hasn't thought about being a head coach yet.

BD: Graduate of Marian College where she played volleyball. Bethany is working on her master's degree and Millikin covers her tuition in exchange for her performing assistant coach duties. She is considered a volunteer assistant coach. She has six years of coaching experience. Bethany enjoys teaching the girls something and getting that "ah-ha" moment when they get it right. Would like to be a head coach in the future.


How does the AVCA help with your career in coaching?

LB: Gets information from Power Tips, likes access to drills and articles on AVCA Web site and learns from the experience she gets at convention.


How do you learn about new parts of the game?

LJ:  Played different positions throughout her career and also had training at different positions. Also, continues to learn from coaching club and attending the AVCA Convention.    

BD:  Bethany is a regional official and studies the game from that perspective. She learned a great deal from other coaches during her playing days.


What responsibilities are given to you by the head coach?

LJ:  All purchasing and expense reports, recruiting, travel, camps, student workers, feeding team, game day operations, some practice planning, run some workouts

BD:  Acts as team strength and conditioning coach, provides feedback to head coach, outside skill position coach, some budget work


With seven years at one school, how do you keep learning from the same person?

LB:  Constantly learning new techniques, researching new drill ideas, continue to learn strengths/weaknesses, look to change habits and try new things


How can the head coach work to develop trust with the assistant coach and what are any barriers the head coach can put up?

LB:  Empower the assistant coach as much as possible to build trust; no barriers

LJ:  Laura was hired in May and started in August. The head coach took time to bring her in and get to know her outside of work by inviting her to dinner at his house. It was important to build that relationship and trust.

BD:  Bethany sat back at the beginning but the head coach started giving her things to do and experimenting with duties to see how she responded. This helped build trust in the relationship.


What are your other responsibilities outside of coaching?

LB:  Laura is an Assistant Athletic Director and teaches PE courses at Calvin. When she started she was hired as an intern with the position being funded by a grant from the NCAA. Calvin applied for and received the DIII Grant for Women & Ethnic Minorities which allowed Laura to get started there. This grant does require some coaching involvement and might be something other DIII schools would want to investigate if they need funding for coaching positions.


What are your recommendations for head coaches to maximum the experience of assistant coaches at their school?

LJ:  Give assistant coaches something to do to invoke trust; get to know the assistant coach on a personal level

BD:  Remember the assistant is there to learn so be a good mentor; the assistant may not know what the head coach wants so be clear in the tasks given and be supportive

LB:  Give specific job responsibilities; include the assistant in conversations with other head coaches; don't make the assistant feel unimportant


The meeting was adjourned at 11:40 a.m. ET. The next Division III Head Coaches Committee meeting will be held at 11 a.m. ET on Thursday, May 13.    

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