Athletic Coaching Education

Bachelor of Science in Athletic Coaching Education

The Athletic Coaching Education (ACE) major prepares students interested in pursuing a variety of roles in the coaching profession.  These roles include but are not limited to:

  • An athletic coach at the youth or interscholastic level
  • Coaching older master athletes
  • Coaching individuals with disabilities
  • Strength coaching
  • Fitness coach

The Bachelor's Degree consists of a sequenced curriculum that focuses on professional knowledge, sport-specific science, and pedagogical skills mixed with practicum experiences that provide students with several opportunities to learn and apply the principles and practices of coaching across a wide range of health, recreation, and performance-based professions, as well as to develop professional networking and social skills. The ACE curriculum follows the National Standards for Sport Coaches 2nd Edition published by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE).

Admission Requirements

ACE offers a direct admission option to students who earned scores of 1125 or higher on the SAT or 26 or higher on the ACT. There is no application to the direct admit program. Students who qualify will be invited by the program to join as incoming freshmen which will make them eligible for additional CPASS scholarships. Direct admits will have to complete the same requirements as the pre-ACE majors before they can begin taking upper major classes.

Students who do not meet direct admission requirements enter the University as pre-ACE majors. They must complete the following to be considered for admission into the ACE major: 

  • Twenty-five credit hours of probationary ACE courses with a letter grade of C- or higher  
  • Fourteen credits (of the required 32 credits) of GEF courses
  • Proof of current Red Cross First Aid, CPR, and AED certification
  • Proof of NFHS Coaching Fundamentals and NFHS Sport First Aid Certification or WVSSAC Coaching Certification (ASEP Coaching Principles, ASEP Sport First Aid, and WV Rules and Regulations) which are completed as part of ACE 106 Introduction to Coaching Profession.
  • Overall current GPA of 2.5 or better at the time of application, completed application including a statement of professional/career aspirations, and a personal coaching philosophy.

Students not granted admission may reapply the following semester with the same procedure in effect. With advisor approval, students may be admitted when they are within nine hours of completing requisite courses (excluding ACE probationary courses). The application deadline is September 15 for spring admission and February 15 for fall admission.

Click here to view the Suggested Plan of Study

General Education FOUNDATIONS

Please use this link to view a list of courses that meet each GEF requirement.

NOTE: Some major requirements will fulfill specific GEF requirements. Please see the curriculum requirements listed below for details on which GEFs you will need to select.

General Education Foundations
F1 - Composition & Rhetoric3-6
Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric
and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research
Accelerated Academic Writing
F2A/F2B - Science & Technology4-6
F3 - Math & Quantitative Skills3-4
F4 - Society & Connections3
F5 - Human Inquiry & the Past3
F6 - The Arts & Creativity3
F7 - Global Studies & Diversity3
F8 - Focus (may be satisfied by completion of a minor, double major, or dual degree)9
Total Hours31-37

Please note that not all of the GEF courses are offered at all campuses. Students should consult with their advisor or academic department regarding the GEF course offerings available at their campus.

Degree Requirements 

GEF 1, 2, 3, 5, & 6 (may vary depending on overlap)16
HN&F 171Introduction to Human Nutrition3
WVUE 191First Year Seminar1
Pre-Major Requirements (must have 2.5 gpa or higher after completing pre-reqs and a minimum grade of C- is required in all courses)
SEP 272Psychological Perspectives of Sport (GEF 4)3
ACE 106Athletic Coaching Education3
ACE 168Sport Officiating2
ACE 256Principles and Problems of Coaching3
ACE 265Diversity and Sport3
ATTR 121Sport Injury Control and Management3
PE 220Striking and Field Games1
PE 221Invasion Games1
PE 223Net and Wall Games1
PET 124Human Body: Structure and Function2
PET 125Principles of Human Movement2
PET 175Motor Development2
PET 244Motor Learning and Performance2
Major Requirements (Minimum grade of C- required in all courses)
ACE 315Sport for Exceptional Athlete (GEF 7)3
ACE 330Coaching Education Administration (Fulfills Writng and Communication Skills Requirement)3
ACE 368Sport Movement Analysis3
ACE 369Basic Strength/Condtng-Coaches3
ACE 410Training Theories for Coaches3
ACE 450Career Planning in Sport3
ACE 488Practicum Coaching Exceptional Athletes3
ACE 489Practicum Coaching Youth Sport3
ACE 491Professional Field Experience6
Select Two Courses (2 hrs. each)4
Techniques of Coaching: Swimming
Techniques of Coaching: Track
Techniques of Coaching: Wrestling
Techniques of Coaching: Soccer
Techniques of Coaching: Basketball
Techniques of Coaching: Football
Techniques of Coaching: Baseball
Techniques of Coaching: Volleyball
EXPH 365Exercise Physiology 13
SM 426Liability in Sport3
Complete a Minor15
Electives (to reach 120 minimum for degree)17
Proof of certifications *
Total Hours120
*

Students must provide proof of current First Aid, AED, and CPR certifications from admission into major through graduation.

Students must provide proof of WVSSAC or NFHS certifications from admission into major through graduation.

Suggested Plan of Study

First Year
FallHoursSpringHours
ENGL 101 (GEF 1)3GEF 2B4
HN&F 1713GEF 63
ACE 1063ATTR 1213
ACE 1682PET 1252
PET 1242PE 2201
WVUE 1911Minor3
 14 16
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours
GEF 33ENGL 102 (GEF 1)3
SEP 2723GEF 53
ACE 2563ACE 2653
PET 1752PET 2442
PE 2211PE 2231
Minor3Minor 3
 15 15
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHours
GEF 8 (Minor)3GEF 8 (Minor)3
Techniques of Coaching Course 12ACE 3153
ACE 3683Techniques of Coaching Course 22
ACE 4503ACE 3693
EXPH 3653ACE 4103
Elective or 2nd Minor1Elective or 2nd Minor1
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHours
ACE 3303ACE 4883
ACE 4916ACE 4893
Elective or 2nd Minor6SM 4263
 Elective or 2nd Minor6
 15 15
Total credit hours: 120

Major Learning Goals

Athletic Coaching Education

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 technical and tactical knowledge and concepts related to the pedagogy of coaching a variety of sports.
  • Reflection and Critical Thinking – Students will demonstrate reflection and critical thinking in order to refine professional practice.
  • Programming and Assessment – Students will demonstrate evidence-based knowledge for designing, implementing and evaluating practice plans that address individual student's needs determined by various forms of assessment.
  • 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 meaningful feedback.

ACE 105. Nutrition for Coaches. 3 Hours.

General nutrition and dietary requirements to aid coaches and their athletes.

ACE 106. Athletic Coaching Education. 3 Hours.

Overview of athletic coaching profession including careers opportunities, critical current issues/trends, professional standards and the professional organizations.

ACE 168. Sport Officiating. 2 Hours.

Study of the art, science, industry standards, and best practices of the officiating profession across all levels of sport.

ACE 256. Principles and Problems of Coaching. 3 Hours.

Designed to teach students the principles and problems of interscholastic athletic coaching.

ACE 265. Diversity and Sport. 3 Hours.

Covers historical and current topics relevant to diversity in sport as it relates to current sport practices. Practical strategies for facilitating acceptance of diversity within individual/team sports are discussed.

ACE 293. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

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

ACE 298. Honors. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Students in Honors Program and consent by the honors director. Independent reading, study, or research.

ACE 315. Sport for Exceptional Athlete. 3 Hours.

Examines the past, present and future of sport for athletes with disabilities and those competing at the Masters-level. The focus is on the coaching of these unique populations of competitive and recreational athletes.

ACE 330. Coaching Education Administration. 3 Hours.

An administrative focus of 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 356. Techniques of Coaching:Cheerleading. 3 Hours.

Designed to provide students with knowledge, skills, and motivation that will prepare them to become safe and successful cheerleading coaches.

ACE 357. Techniques of Coaching: Swimming. 2 Hours.

Designed to permit students to gain athletic coaching experience through a supervised on-site experience with a varsity athletic team.

ACE 359. Techniques of Coaching: Track. 2 Hours.

Designed to permit students to gain athletic coaching experience through a supervised on-site experience with a varsity athletic team.

ACE 360. Techniques of Coaching: Wrestling. 2 Hours.

Designed to permit students to gain athletic coaching experience through a supervised on-site experience with a varsity athletic team.

ACE 361. Techniques of Coaching: Soccer. 2 Hours.

Designed to permit students to gain athletic coaching experience through a supervised on-site experience with a varsity athletic team.

ACE 362. Techniques of Coaching: Basketball. 2 Hours.

Designed to permit students to gain athletic coaching experience through a supervised on-site experience with a varsity athletic team.

ACE 364. Techniques of Coaching: Football. 2 Hours.

Designed to permit students to gain athletic coaching experience through a supervised on-site experience with a varsity athletic team.

ACE 365. Techniques of Coaching: Baseball. 2 Hours.

Designed to permit students to gain athletic coaching experiencethrough a supervised on-site experience with a varsity athletic team.

ACE 366. Techniques of Coaching: Volleyball. 2 Hours.

Designed to permit students to gain athletic coaching experience through a supervised on-site experience with a varsity athletic team.

ACE 368. Sport Movement Analysis. 3 Hours.

PR: PET 124 and PET 125 with a minimum grade of C-. This course is designed to introduce a prospective coach to the principles of human movement.

ACE 369. Basic Strength/Condtng-Coaches. 3 Hours.

PR: EXPH 365 and (EXPH 364 or (PET 124 and PET 125)) with a minimum grade of C- in each. Present basic exercise performance methodologies to assist in coaching athletics. Types of training include speed drills, agility drills, conditioning workouts, flexibility exercises, balance- improvement drills, and proper training-environment safety techiques.

ACE 371. Strength and Conditioning Coaching Techniques. 3 Hours.

PR: ACE 369 or EXPH 369 with a minimum grade of C-. Hands-on experience performing and coaching exercises to improve athletic performance. Specifics include resistance training, core exercises, proprioception rehabilitation, injury prevention, flexibility exercises, plyometric and explosive techniques, speed training, agility exercises.

ACE 372. Sport Specific Strength and Conditioning. 3 Hours.

PR: EXPH 364 and EXPH 365 and ACE 369. Present optimal training for athletics of different sports in trained and untrained states. Specific protocols in resistance training and conditioning, correcting specific running and speed mechanics and agility movements.

ACE 373. Fitness Management. 3 Hours.

Provide content knowledge and practical experiences in health and fitness facility management and operation. ACE certification exam prep.

ACE 374. Fitness Field Testing. 3 Hours.

Provide content knowledge and practical experience concerned with health screening, fitness testing, assessment and evaluation. Content needed for ACE national certification exam.

ACE 375. Lifestyle and Weight Management. 3 Hours.

Provide content knowledge and practical experience in basic nutrition, behavior change, exercise, and health psychology.

ACE 389. Introduction to Adventure Sports. 1 Hour.

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the field of adventure sports including its history, career opportunities, and common competencies needed to succeed in the industry.

ACE 393. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

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

ACE 410. Training Theories for Coaches. 3 Hours.

PR: PET 124 and PET 125 and PR or CONC: EXPH 365. Application of sport training theories to building, designing and assessing athlete training plans, seasonal team development and long term athlete development from physical literacy to peak performance at all participation levels.

ACE 450. Career Planning in Sport. 3 Hours.

Students will utilize the Career Service Center and demonstrate a working knowledge of various job search strategies and career planning.

ACE 451. Plan/Risk Management for Adventure Sport. 3 Hours.

The objective of this course is to provide students with a thorough introduction to the process of planning safe, fun, and meaningful outdoor adventure programs.

ACE 452. Outdoor Leader/Group Dynamics. 3 Hours.

The objective of this course is to guide students as they explore the concepts of leadership and group dynamics as they pertain to working with groups in outdoor adventure settings.

ACE 454. Advanced Sport Instruction Techniques. 3 Hours.

The objective of this course is to provide students with a thorough overview of the skills and knowledge needed to effectively instruct participants of outdoor adventure activities.

ACE 455. Adventure Sports Internship. 2-6 Hours.

The goal of this course is to provide students with a supervised professional experience within an adventure sports environment under the direction of a supervisor at that site.

ACE 463. Group Fitness Internship. 6 Hours.

This course provides a supervised professional experience in teaching group fitness classes under the direction of a professional at the site.

ACE 470. Methods of Aerobic Instruction. 3 Hours.

PR: ACE 460 and ACE 462. Provide practical experiences in teaching group fitness exercises, including hi/lo, step, interval, and resistance training. ACE certification exam prep.

ACE 471. Women and Sport. 3 Hours.

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

ACE 472. Methods of Personal Training. 3 Hours.

PR: ACE 460 and ACE 462. Content knowledge, practical experiences of training techniques and exercise programming for the healthy adult and special populations. ACE certification exam prep.

ACE 474. Aquatic Fitness Instructor. 1 Hour.

PR: ACE 470. Provides theoretical framework, content knowledge, and practical experiences in teaching aquatic fitness in a group setting.

ACE 475. Strength and Conditioning Internship. 3 Hours.

PR: ACE 371 and ACE 372. Prearranged experiential learning program, to be planned, supervised, and evaluated for credit by faculty and field supervisors in strength and conditioning environment. Involves temporary placement with public or private enterprise for professional competence development.

ACE 476. Fitness Internship. 3-6 Hours.

PR: ACE 470 or ACE 472. Supervised experience in a health/fitness environment under the direction of a professional at the site. Preparation for the ACE national certification exam.

ACE 480. Fitness Certification. 2 Hours.

This course provides college credit for successfully passing the North American Council on Exercise Certification Exam in personal training or Group Fitness Instruction.

ACE 482. Certified Pool Operator. 3 Hours.

This class is designed to give students the knowledge and skills to sit for the NSPF Pool Operator Exam. (Students responsible for the NSPF Exam fee.).

ACE 483. Aquatic Exercise Professional. 3 Hours.

This course is designed to prepare students to take the AEA Professional Instructor Exam for water aerobics instructors. (Students are responsible for the AEA exam fee.).

ACE 484. Aquatic Staff and Programming. 3 Hours.

This class teaches students the different types of staff and programs available for an aquatic facility.

ACE 485. Aquatic Design and Budget. 3 Hours.

PR: ACE 482 and ACE 484 and PE 175 and PET 324. Teaches students to design a facility that is both functional and profitable.

ACE 486. Aquatic Management Internship. 3 Hours.

PR: ACE 482 and ACE 484 and PE 175 and PET 324. This class will give students hands-on experience with aquatic facility management.

ACE 488. Practicum Coaching Exceptional Athletes. 3 Hours.

PR:ACE 315. Integration of theoretical knowledge and development issues with practical field experiences working with exceptional athletes.

ACE 489. Practicum Coaching Youth Sport. 3 Hours.

PR: ACE 256, PET 244, and one of the ACE Techniques of Coaching. Integration of theoretical knowledge and development issues with practical field experiences in coaching youth.

ACE 490. Teaching Practicum. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Teaching practice as a tutor or assistant.

ACE 491. Professional Field Experience. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. (May be repeated up to a maximum of 18 hours.) Prearranged experiential learning program, to be planned, supervised, and evaluated for credit by faculty and field supervisors. Involves temporary placement with public or private enterprise for professional competence development.

ACE 492. Directed Study. 1-3 Hours.

Directed study, reading, and/or research.

ACE 493. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

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

ACE 494. Seminar. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Presentation and discussion of topics of mutual concern to students and faculty.

ACE 495. Independent Study. 1-6 Hours.

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

ACE 496. Senior Thesis. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent.

ACE 497. Research. 1-6 Hours.

Independent research projects.


Faculty

Associate Professors

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

Assistant professors

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

Teaching Assistant Professor

  • William (Guy) Hornsby III - Ph.D. (East Tennessee State University)
  • Tobin Richardson - Ed.D. (Ball State)

Adjunct Instructors

  • Jerry Handley - M.S. (West Virginia University)
  • Nancy Naternicola - M.S. (West Virginia University)

Associate Professor Emeritus

  • Daniel Ziatz