May 12th, 2022 | Josh Adelman
Soldiers to Sidelines congratulates the latest class of certified Soldier Coaches in Men’s and Women’s Basketball. It was an action-packed week with some of the most famous names in basketball. The event was powered by our dear partner, Wounded Warrior Project, which supports post 9/11 Veterans to actualize their passion for coaching sports and serving their community.
The first day started with a splash by hearing from an actual Soldier Coach, Carl Little. Coach Little is currently coaching for Austin Peay Men’s Basketball. He retired after 21 years of serving our country in the US Air Force as a Non-Commissioned Officer and in the US Army as a Commissioned Officer. He served various overseas tours with deployments to Kosovo, Turkey, Iraq, and Jordan.
Following Coach Little, attendees spent 30 minutes asking questions and interacting with Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball Head Coach, Josh Pastner. Coach Pastner delivered true wisdom and inspiration while noting that he just wore his STS Inspire shirt during his workout. His persistent commitment to assisting our Soldier Coaches on their coaching journeys is humbling.
The seminar continued to deliver rare interactions with basketball’s coaching elite. Toyelle Wilson, Head Women’s Basketball Coach at SMU, provided open and honest feedback to our class, who asked her questions about creating culture, best hiring practices, motivation, leadership, and retention.
Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Lane Community College, Matt Zosel, served our country as a US Army Ranger. He addressed the class about how best to transition from military service and utilize their military experience to thrive in the basketball coaching world.
We learned basketball-specific skills and drills from Ryan Odom (Head Men’s Basketball Coach of Utah State University), Ray Harper (Head Men’s Basketball Coach Jacksonville State University), Brandon Chambers (Former Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach at LSU), Krista Gerlich (Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Texas Tech.), Justin Cardoza (Retired US Coast Guard &Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach at ST. Thomas University), and the legendary Matthew Driscoll (Head Men’s Basketball Coach of University of North Florida).
Seth Greenberg (ESPN Analyst) opined how military service is a tremendous foundation for great basketball coaches to close out the seminar. He expressed that our country is in dire need of great leaders at the community level, and our Soldier Coaches are perfect for the challenge. We are excited to stay connected to Coach Greenberg on his podcast Bald Men On Campus.
We are proud to welcome this class to the STS tribe. For their effort in completing this certification, every new Soldier Coach receives a certificate, an Under Armour coaching Polo, a whistle, and a copy of The Everyday Coach: Harnessing the Magic of Influence by Harrison Bernstein. They also receive free access to the USA Basketball Coach Academy. With these gifts, it will be an honor to watch this group continue their commitment to coaching mastery and serve their communities as character-based basketball coaches.