STARKVILLE, Miss. – Vince Lombardi said “The strength of the group is the strength of the leaders.”
Mississippi State head women’s basketball coach Vic Schaefer recently had the opportunity to travel to New York City last week as one of 30 participants invited to 2013’s first session of The Center for Coaching Excellence, an invitation-only, two-and-a-half day leadership program hosted by Columbia University.
The CCE utilizes the resources of one of the world’s top research universities to provide women’s college basketball coaches an exclusive learning experience and the opportunity to network with fellow coaches and top industry leaders.
“I am very honored to have been invited to attend the program. It was an outstanding opportunity to listen to people like (University of Texas head coach emerita) Jodie Conradt, Big Ten Conference commissioner Jim Delany and Rebecca Halstead, a retired US Army brigadier general who talked about her experiences being in charge of 30,000 troops in Afghanistan, share their thoughts on leadership and the evolution of our game to where it is today,” Schaefer said.
The CCE started with the participants being given the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to gauge individual personality traits.
Dr. Cathie T. Siders, a clinical psychologist, organizational consultant and executive coach, led group-learning sessions, while the other CCE faculty presented panel discussions.
In addition to Conradt, Delany and Halstead, other faculty for the program included Anucha Browne, vice president of women's basketball championships, NCAA; Val Ackerman, strategic consultant, NCAA and faculty, Columbia University School of Continuing Education; Rich Ensor, commissioner, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference; Jeffrey H. Orleans, consultant, Alden and Associates; Stephanie Glance, head women's basketball coach, Columbia University; Jim Jabir, head women's basketball coach, University of Dayton; and outgoing WBCA President Charli Turner Thorne, head women's basketball coach, Arizona State University.
It was a great program and a tremendous opportunity. Leadership is such a big part of what we do for our teams and our staffs,” Schaefer said. “For everyone in the room, I think we came away with a tremendous feeling of responsibility to our game, our staffs and our universities.
“If this program would have been around when I became a head coach in the women’s game 23 years ago, it would have helped me tremendously. The depth of information we were given through this opportunity will be very beneficial to us.”The Center for Coaching Excellence was created in 2011 through a partnership between the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and Columbia. It is funded in part through a grant from the NCAA.