New WVU center will focus on coaching, training and research


West Virginia University  College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences faculty member will lead the new Center for Applied Coaching and Sport Sciences (CACSS). CPASS athletic coaching education faculty member Kristen Dieffenbach  will serve as director of the facility.

CACSS focuses on projects designed to improve the work of those who coach, train coaches, and conduct and support research related to coaching and coach development. The Center highlights projects that promote multiple aspects of applied coaching science simultaneously.

The Center’s initial projects focus on developing expertise in the latest sport data gathering technology and on building more efficient channels of communication between the key local, state, national and international sport governing bodies.

“This Center will become a place where we share what we are doing as we look to shape connections that help us all take our work to the next level,” Dieffenbach said. “We hope to solidify WVU’s leadership in the field of coach development and athletic coaching education.”

The guiding vision behind CACSS is a culture that values and supports all individuals as athletes, trained by quality coaches who have access to the best science, best practices and best training.

The college's mission emphasizes research, practice, innovation and student experience. The Center will support the generation of original research related to coaching and coaching education while developing collaborative relationships with both WVU and sport organizations.

“The Center will fill the gap between cutting edge sport science knowledge and technology and real world coaching across the levels of sport,” said Dieffenbach. “We envision creating a supportive incubator to take real world ideas from coaches and athletes and cutting edge science-based concepts to develop ideas into products and services.”

“We hope to enhance coaching education, the profession of coaching, and the athlete sport experience. We will strive to enrich student learning by providing hands on experiences. We want to develop professional networks to strengthen the student experience.”

Recent CACSS activities include a technology partnership with the United States Olympic Center, hosting the 2015 National Coaching Conference, research round table meetings, and conducting coach training workshops held at WVU.

In addition to Dieffenbach , Valerie Wayda, CPASS Coaching and Teaching Studies department chair and associate professor, will serve as chief financial officer.

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