Networking events for professionals across the same industry can only be a good thing. New ideas and reminiscing of the way things used to be in the past take place and allow for individuals to gain context along a broader spectrum. At the end of the day, new relationships are forged, old ones are rekindled, and the additional dialogue helps to shape the next wave of developments.
Coaches in the NCAA are no different than professionals in other walks of life, and NCAA Division II athletics realizes that. They created the program during the 2012-2013 season on a trial basis, to see if it would gain traction, and so far, it’s been highly successful. It’s grown gradually since that time, adding more Division II sports and their coaches.
Now, Division II is including all National Collegiate Championship sports, which includes the entire pool of coaches employed at that level. It’s a significant step towards creating a safe space for coaches to improve their craft and talk about current relevant issues.
“It connects coaches with a forum for sharing information and, more importantly, sharing their voice in the governance of Division II athletics,” explained Debbie Chin, the Coaches Connection Program administrator. Via NCAA.org
As part of the program, each sport is assigned a “connector”, who is usually a former coach. The connector moderates virtual meetings every month to talk about relevant problems impacting the sport. Potential rule or structure changes to Division II which would affect the sport are also on the agenda. The connectors, even though not currently coaching, are pretty well plugged in to timely issues. They go to Division II championships, and attend annual coaches conventions.
In addition to athletic topics discussed on the teleconferences, other focuses are addressed. Representatives from the NCAA membership affairs group are present to talk about potential changes to academic eligibility, policies surrounding transfer students, and general legislation.