On Sept. 18, the Office of Global Engagement at the University of Utah will welcome 70 collegiate coaches from China to participate in a training and education program for three months. Sponsored by the China Scholarship Council and the Federation University Sports China, the coaches will work with U athletics staff on techniques in men and women’s basketball and track and field. This will be the second year the U has participated in the program, which is part of the Pac-12 Globalization Initiative.
This past July, in preparation for the 2017 training program, 175 university coaches from across China gathered in Guangzhou, a historic port city in the southern part of the country, for a month-long intensive English program. Midway through the program, representatives from the U traveled to Guangzhou to meet with the new cohorts of coaches.
“This trip allowed us the ability to convey our expectations to the coaches directly, hopefully avoiding any ambiguity,” said Scott McByrne, director of administration and video for U Athletics. “We had an open discussion with the coaches and let them describe to us what they wanted to accomplish in their time in the U.S. Having this head start is essential in making sure we get the weeks set up accordingly with lectures, guest speakers and hands-on court demonstrations and really keying in to what both parties are looking to get from the other.”
Last year, the U hosted 89 high school coaches. Having a chance to meet each coach, give presentations, discuss curriculum, tour athletic facilities and get a better understanding of what the coaches hope to get out of the experience was beneficial for both U staff and the coaches.
“The trip helped us feel better prepared for the new set of coaches arriving in September,” said Kendall Rodriguez, women’s basketball director of marketing. “Last year, we really didn’t know what to expect in regards to coaching ability, overall understanding of the game and English comprehension. Being able to travel to China to meet personally with the coaches we’ll be working with for three months was incredibly helpful as it gave us an idea of who they are both on and off the court, what their expectations are, and most importantly, what athletic resources and competitive standards they have at their respective universities compared to ours — this will help us better cater our curriculum to them while they’re here.”
The training program will focus on coaching strategy, game preparation, film review, assistant coach development and practice structure. In addition, the curriculum will include off-the-field topics such as sports psychology, strength training, nutrition, public relations and marketing. Following the program, each participating coach will be issued a certificate of completion.
Along with McByrne and Rodriguez, representatives from the U included Rachel Messer from women’s basketball, Courtney Jost from track and field and Tami Johnson from swimming. Also participating, Cheri Daily, program director for the China coaches training program and Esther Trueman, program assistant.
As a conference wide initiative, Arizona State University will also work with college coaches from China this fall.
Campus partners contributing to the success of this program include the Office of Global Engagement, Athletics, the College of Health, the Department of Linguistics and the Guest House and Conference Planning Services.