Columbia Athletics, WBCA, Partner to Establish The Center for Coaching Excellence

ATLANTA - The Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), in partnership with Columbia University Athletics, is pleased to announce the establishment of The Center for Coaching Excellence (CCE), an elite leadership-training program that will be hosted on the campus of Columbia University in New York beginning this spring.

"We are thrilled to partner with Columbia University for this important initiative," said WBCA CEO Beth Bass.  "This program is the first of its kind in women's basketball and the WBCA is excited that we can make this opportunity available to our membership.  To have the support of one of the world's premier universities in this endeavor is priceless.  We're also extremely grateful to the NCAA for its financial support of the CCE, which has helped make this program a reality."

The Center for Coaching Excellence will introduce coaches to various aspects of leadership and provide a deeper understanding and appreciation of the importance of ethics and integrity in college women's basketball through a rigorous curriculum presented in a seminar-style environment.

"In order to continue to grow women's basketball, the game's leaders must be held to a high standard of leadership, ethical behavior and integrity," said NCAA President Mark Emmert.  "The NCAA appreciates the WBCA's efforts to provide this leadership for its membership."

Capitalizing on the resources of Columbia University, one of the world's leading research universities, and the WBCA, The Center for Coaching Excellence will provide an unparalleled learning experience for the nation's college women's basketball coaches. Utilizing collaborative and interactive learning sessions along with lectures and panel discussions featuring experts in college athletics, The Center provides college women's basketball coaches with valuable networking opportunities with their peers and top industry leaders.

"Columbia University is extremely excited to partner with the WBCA in the creation of The Center for Coaching Excellence. As a former NCAA head women's basketball coach and current athletics director, I understand and appreciate the many complex issues that today's coaches face," said Dr. M. Dianne Murphy, Director, Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education.  "The Center for Coaching Excellence will provide the members of our women's basketball coaching community with the leadership skills and competencies that will empower them to reach their goals in basketball and in life."

Coaches at The Center for Coaching Excellence will participate in an intensive two-and-a-half day seminar-style learning environment, featuring panel discussions, guest speakers, small-group breakouts, roundtables and interactive problem-solving.

Topics of instruction include Principles and Practices of Leadership, Why Leadership Matters, Developing Team Leaders and Managing the Pressure to Win at All Costs.

Dr. Cathie T. Siders, a clinical psychologist, organizational consultant and executive coach, will facilitate group-learning sessions. Other sessions will feature panel discussions from a wide variety of leaders from both the college athletics industry and other sectors of industry.

Faculty of The Center for Coaching Excellence includes Jim Delany, Commissioner, Big 10 Conference; Julie Roe Lach, Vice President of Enforcement, NCAA; Dick Baddour, Athletics Director, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill;, Jody Conradt, Head Women's Basketball Coach Emerita, University of Texas; Doug Bruno, Head Women's Basketball, DePaul University; Marsha Sharp, Head Women's Basketball Coach Emerita, Texas Tech; and Dr. Jon Steinbrecher, Commissioner, Mid-American Conference, among other prominent leaders in collegiate athletics.

"We have developed an outstanding leadership program that is tailored to the experience of today's college women's basketball coach," said Dr. Cathie T. Siders, clinical psychologist, executive coach and organizational consultant. "Coaches of all experience levels will gain valuable tools to succeed in the everyday leadership of their women's basketball programs."

The Center for Coaching Excellence was developed by Dr. M. Dianne Murphy, Director, Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education in partnership the WBCA.