Sport Coaching

Master Degree

The Sport Coaching degree is designed for individuals who want to be lifelong learners who can adapt to modern demands in the coaching profession. The degree is designed for teachers and full-time professionals who coach at the scholastic, community and club/college levels. The curriculum focuses on holistic athlete development, including sport skills, lifeskills, long-term development, and periodized training. 

The online ACE master’s program can be completed in two years.  The entire curriculum is delivered in the online format. The curriculum is aligned with NASPE's (2006) National Standards for Sport Coaches (2nd edition). The program has been approved as a part of Southern Regional Electronic College and therefore will be offered at IN-STATE TUITION

Admission Criteria

The following criteria are used to evaluate applications for admission to the master’s program:

  • Undergraduate degree grade point average (2.75 minimum for regular status) from an approved institution
  • Minimum of two references (three references preferred)
  • Resume emphasizing your coaching/sport experiences
  • Professional goal statement (one to two pages on professional background, goals, and reasons for pursuing the master’s degree

Note: Students who do not meet the 2.75 grade point average requirement may be admitted as a provisional graduate student only if their GPA is between 2.50 and 2.75. If a student is admitted as a provisional student they are required to attain a 3.0 GPA in their first 12 hours of adviser approved course work in order to remain in the program and to be reclassified as a regular graduate student. 

Applications must be submitted ONLINE to the WVU Admissions Office along with your official undergraduate transcripts. Apply online at the WVU Admissions website www.wvu.edu.  Incomplete applications (those without all required materials and documentation) will not be accepted.

Priority Deadline is March 1st for students who would like an early admission decision.

Application Deadline is June 1st for fall admission with admission decision available by June 15th.  Program will continue to accept applications until all seats are filled.

No more than twelve graduate hours may be taken toward the master's degree as a non-degree seeking graduate student.

Degree Requirements

A grade of C or higher must be earned in all courses
ACE 602Action-based Research for Coaching3
ACE 610Training Theories for Coaches3
ACE 618Psychology of Coaching3
ACE 630Coaching Education Administration3
ACE 639Create Healthy Competitive Environments3
ACE 641Positive Youth Development in Sport3
ACE 650Sport Movement Analysis3
ACE 661Strength and Conditioning Methods for Coaches3
ACE 665Strength and Conditioning Program Design Coach3
ACE 685Coaching Internship3
ACE 688Coaching Techniques3
ACE 697Research3
SM 627Legal Issues in Sport Administration3
Total Hours39

Suggested Plan of Study

First SemesterHours
ACE 6183
ACE 6613
 6
Second SemesterHours
ACE 6883
SM 6273
 6
Third SemesterHours
ACE 6103
ACE 6413
 6
Fourth SemesterHours
ACE 6023
ACE 6503
 6
Fifth SemesterHours
ACE 6393
ACE 6971
ACE 685*3
 7
Sixth SemesterHours
ACE 6303
ACE 697 or 685*1
 4
Seventh SemesterHours
ACE 6653
ACE 697 or 685*1
 4
Total credit hours: 39
*

ACE 685 must be completed the semester when coaching a sport, but can be taken in the fifth, sixth or seventh semester (the semester that best aligns with your sport coaching season).  The semester that you take ACE 685 (3 hours), you will be enrolled for 7 total credits and the other two semesters, you will only be enrolled for 4 credits. 

Major Learning Goals

Sport Coaching

The goal of the program is for students to graduate with the essential skills and knowledge to work with athletes in a variety of contexts across their lifetime.  

  • Content Knowledge – Students will demonstrate knowledge and management concepts related to the pedagogy of sport coaching.
  • Reflection and Critical Thinking – Students will demonstrate reflection, collaboration, and critical thinking skills in order to refine professional practice and promote lifelong learning.
  • Programming and Assessment – Students will demonstrate evidence-based knowledge. skills (and best practices) for designing, implementing and evaluating practice plans and programs that are based on assessments of players' needs.
  • Professionalism and Ethics – Students will demonstrate professional behaviors, including commitment to excellence, valuing diversity and collaboration, service to others, and techniques for lifelong learning.
  • Technology – Students will be able to demonstrate the use of different forms of technology to assess skills and provide effective and compelling feedback to players.

Courses

ACE 591A-Z. Advanced Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation in advanced topics that are not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

ACE 592A-Z. Directed Study. 1-6 Hours.

Directed study, reading, and/or research.

ACE 593A-Z. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

A study of contemporary topics selected from recent developments in the field.

ACE 594A-Z. Seminar. 1-6 Hours.

Special seminars arranged for advanced graduate students.

ACE 595. Independent Study. 1-6 Hours.

Faculty-supervised study of topics not available through regular course offerings.

ACE 602. Action-based Research for Coaching. 3 Hours.

Examination of action based research as applied to sport studies. Emphasis placed on learning the skills of disciplined inquiry to inform and change ones practices in the future.

ACE 610. Training Theories for Coaches. 3 Hours.

This course is designed to promote critical thinking, problem solving and use of current training theories for best practice in coaching across all levels to develop and nurture talent.

ACE 618. Psychology of Coaching. 3 Hours.

In-depth understanding of the psychology of coaching athletes and application of this knowledge into coaching practices for optimal athlete development and performance. Contemporary issues also covered.

ACE 622. Motor Behavior for Sport Coaches. 3 Hours.

PR: Graduate standing. Designed to increase coaches' understanding of how athletes learn motor skills. Theories of motor learning, techniques to provide effective instruction, practice design, stages of learning, assessment, and coaching strategies to structure training and practice to optimize skill acquisition and performance.

ACE 630. Coaching Education Administration. 3 Hours.

An administrative focus on leadership, finance, fundraising, planning, facility development, personnel supervision, public relations, rules and regulations, purchase and care of equipment and the conducting of athletic events.

ACE 639. Create Healthy Competitive Environments. 3 Hours.

PR: ACE 602 and ACE 610. Course explores topics related to techniques of training, ergogenic aids, performance enhancement, and the coach roles and responsibilities in designing, creating and maintaining a safe and healthy environment.

ACE 641. Positive Youth Development in Sport. 3 Hours.

PR: ACE 688. Review literature and outreach programs in positive youth development. Emphasis on development of psychosocial assets in youth such as life skills and character.

ACE 645. Contemporary Issues in Sport. 3 Hours.

Contemporary issues in sport; to make you a more successful coach, expose you to situations in today's coaching profession, and prepare you to plan for situations that may arise.

ACE 650. Sport Movement Analysis. 3 Hours.

This course applies the laws of physics to sport activities with the objective of finding the most efficient use of the human body to achieve the highest levels of performance.

ACE 661. Strength and Conditioning Methods for Coaches. 3 Hours.

Present basic exercise performance methodologies to assist in coaching athletes. Types of training include speed drills, agility drills, conditioning workouts, flexibility exercises, balance-improvement drills, and proper training- environment safety techniques.

ACE 663. Advanced Strength and Conditioning Coaching Techniques. 3 Hours.

PR: ACE 661. Present various exercises in hands-on setting to utilize in training. Proficiency is taught in Olympic movements, free weights, machine weights, and plyometrics. Speed and agility track exercises will be included.

ACE 665. Strength and Conditioning Program Design Coach. 3 Hours.

PR: ACE 661. Students in this course will learn to design programs in athletic resistance training, plyometrics, conditioning, and agility, and students will learn to handle detraining, sports specificity, and periodization for offseason and competition programs.

ACE 671. Women in Sport. 3 Hours.

ACE Graduate: Study the history of women in sport, and investigate issues that are directly related to women in sport as participants, coaches, administration, parents and fans.

ACE 685. Coaching Internship. 1-6 Hours.

Students will complete a contract detailing terms of the learning experience. The levels of coaching include but are not limited to elementary schools, little league, secondary schools, and collegiate levels.

ACE 688. Coaching Techniques. 1-6 Hours.

Students will complete a contract detailing terms of coaching technique topics relevant to their individual coaching experience.

ACE 691A-Z. Advanced Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of advanced topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

ACE 692A-Z. Directed Study. 1-6 Hours.

Directed study, reading, and/or research.

ACE 693A-Z. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

A study of contemporary topics selected from recent developments in the field.

ACE 694A-Z. Seminar. 1-6 Hours.

Special seminars arranged for advanced graduate students.

ACE 695. Independent Study. 1-6 Hours.

Faculty supervised study of topics not available through regular course offerings.

ACE 696. Graduate Seminar. 1 Hour.

PR: Consent. Each graduate student will present at least one seminar to the assembled faculty and graduate student body of his or her program.

ACE 697. Research. 1-15 Hours.

PR: Consent. Research activities leading to thesis, problem report, research paper or equivalent scholarly project, or a dissertation. (Grading may be S/U.).

ACE 698. Thesis or Dissertation. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. This is an optional course for programs that wish to provide formal supervision as needed during the writing of student reports, theses, or dissertations. (Grading is Normal).

ACE 699. Graduate Colloquium. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. For graduate student not seeking coursework credit but who wish to meet residency requirements, use the University's facilities, and participate in its academic and cultural programs. Note: Graduate students who are not actively involved in coursework or research are entitled, through enrollment in their department's Graduate Colloquium to consult with graduate faculty, participate in both formal and informal academic activities sponsored by their program, and retain all of the rights and privileges of duly enrolled students. Grading is Normal; colloquium credit may not be counted against credit requirements for masters programs. Registration for one credit of 699/799 graduate colloquium satisfies the University requirement of registration in the semester in which graduation occurs.

ACE 900. Professional Development. 1-6 Hours.

Professional development courses provide skill renewal or enhancement in a professional field or content area (e.g. education, community health, geology.) The continuing education courses are graded on a pass/fail grading scale and do not apply as graduate credit toward a degree program.

ACE 930. Professional Development. 1-6 Hours.

Professional development courses provide skill renewal or enhancement in a professional field or content area (e.g. education, community health, geology.) These tuition-waived, continuing education courses are graded on a pass/fail grading scale and do not apply as graduate credit toward a degree program.


Faculty

Associate professors

  • Kristen Dieffenbach - Ph.D. (University of North Carolina at Greensboro)
  • Valerie Wayda - Ed.D. (West Virginia University)
    Chair, Coaching & Teaching Studies

Assistant professors

  • Jason Bishop - Ph.D. (University of Virginia)
  • Ryan Flett - Ph.D. (Michigan State University)

Teaching Assistant Professor

  • Clayton Kuklick - Ph.D. (University of Southern Mississippi)

Adjunct Instructors

  • Kathy Ginter - Ph.D. (University of Tennessee)
  • Jerry Handley - M.S. (West Virginia University)

Associate Professor Emeritus

  • Daniel Ziatz