By Marcus Shockley
Last year, when three support assistants under then-Clemson coach Oliver Purnell brainstormed the concept of a conference for up-and-coming support staff such as themselves, they weren’t really sure the idea had legs. However, after lining up a sponsor for the event and speakers, they realized that it was viable – and they needed to get to work. The Rising Coaches Elite conference, held in Las Vegas just before the July recruiting period, was a success. The group also held an event at the Final Four in Houston. This year’s summer conference, again to be held in Las Vegas, builds on what was accomplished last year and looks to make even more of an impact.
The response and attendance for the inaugural event exceeded expectations, and it looks like attendance will be even higher this year, judging from early registrations.
Adam Gordon, who co-created the conference along with Andy Farrell and Trey Meyer, says that the driving idea behind the conference is to cater to support staff roles, such as Graduate Assistants and other not-quite-assistant coaches. By providing elite college coaches as speakers and an opportunity at networking, the conference is focused on the career of college coaching. This year’s speakers who have been confirmed include Kevin O’Neill of USC, Cuonzo Martin of Tennessee, John Cooper of Tennessee State, Dana Ford of Wichita State, and several others who will be named as the conference date approaches.
The content of the conference is not about Xs and Os, but more about moving up in a coaching career, and advice from established national coaches who have put together successful careers themselves. This is an excellent opportunity for up-and-coming assistants and support staff to learn firsthand what it takes to succeed from a career-management perspective.
The conference is sponsored by XOS Digital and is currently open to Division I coaches and their support staff. For more information about the event, visit Rising Coaches Elite online, or email for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow them on Twitter for updates about speakers and other news @risingcoaches.
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