Conference Promotes Coaching Education, Features Foremost Sport Educator

The “Schools Shaping the Culture of Sport” conference is slated for Tuesday, March 5, and Wednesday, March 6, at The University of Scranton.

In an effort to prepare coaches for the multifaceted challenges facing today’s athletic instructors and administrators managing high school programs, The University of Scranton will host a conference entitled “Schools Shaping the Culture of Sport” on Tuesday, March 5, and Wednesday, March 6, at the DeNaples Center on campus. The conference features Jim Thompson, executive director of the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA), which he founded at Stanford University in 1998. The goal of the national organization is to lead a movement to use sports develop better athletes and better people through the shaping of a more positive culture of sport. 

The conference will provide useful information and tools for the many University of Scranton employees who are parents and/or coaches of young athletes as well as University of Scranton coaches, athletes, faculty and staff. A person may attend one session, a few segments, or the entire conference free of charge. New to this year’s conference is a "Sport and Spirituality" track, which includes five presentations and a panel discussion. Among the panelists is Susan Saint Sing, Ph.D., a member of the 1993 U.S.A. World Rowing team who has written nine books on spirituality and sport and lectured extensively, including at the Vatican.  

The conference, presented by Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) District II and The University of Scranton Bochicchio Sport Character Initiative, in conjunction with the Pennsylvania State Athletic Directors Association, includes Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) interactive workshops and discussions for coaches, athletes and parents. The two-day event coincides with the celebration of the annual National Sportsmanship Day. 

Among this year’s presenters include: Kelly Kratz, a veteran PCA trainer, who has coached basketball and lacrosse at the youth, high school and college levels; Tomm Evans, a PCA trainer who was a successful head swimming coach at the University; Kay Porter, Ph.D., author of the best-selling sport psychology book, “The Mental Athlete (Human Kinetics);” Rick Malloy, S.J., vice president of mission and ministry at Scranton; Matt L. Davidson, Ph.D., a 1993 University of Scranton alumnus and founder, president and director of education for the Institute for Excellence & Ethics (IEE); Steve Vacendak, Scranton Prep alumnus and Duke University basketball great; Amber Jacobs, former WNBA player and assistant athletic director and head coach of women’s basketball at Baptist Bible College; Ryan Maher, S.J., executive director of The Jesuit Center at Scranton; and TJ Murray, a senior varsity athlete at Abington Heights High School, who developed a leadership program for team captains in use at his school.

For a complete listing of the conference’s events and speakers, click here to view the conference’s brochure.

The Bochicchio Sport Character Initiative’s programs honor the memory of the late Joe Bochicchio, a University of Scranton coach who has inspired much of the University’s work to promote sportsmanship and coaching education.

The two-day conference is open to all coaches, athletes, parents, and athletic directors in school districts in PIAA District II, as well as youth sport leaders, coaches, parents, and sport educators. at the collegiate level.

District II coaches, athletic directors and students interested in attending the workshop must register with Mike Ognosky, superintendent of Montrose Area Schools and District II secretary, by mail to Montrose Area School District, 273 Meteor Way, Montrose, Pa. 18801 or by fax to (570) 278-2426. For additional information, contact Jack O’Malley, Ph.D., professor emeritus of psychology and chair of the steering committee of Bochicchio Sport Character Initiative, at 941-4269 or at

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