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October 2014

Santa Clara University Launches Jerry Smith Coaching for Life Academy

Santa Clara, Calif., October 2, 2014-- Santa Clara University’s School of Education and Counseling Psychology is launching a new endeavor to promote the importance of developing leadership and life skills featuring one of the most successful coaches in collegiate soccer. The Jerry Smith Coaching for Life Academy (JSCFLA) is SCU’s first sports leadership program and will host its inaugural workshop next week on Thursday, Oct. 9. The Academy’s mission is to help educate and prepare coaches, players, and parents to achieve success in sports and life.

“The relationship coaches develop with players is vital to the success of young athletes on and off the field, and in their careers. The impact we have on these men and women cannot be overstated,” says Jerry Smith, head coach of SCU women’s soccer team and executive director of the JSCFLA. “We’re excited to shift the focus to the kind of sports leadership that doesn’t just look at wins and losses in the game, but how athletes flourish in life with the right mentorship.”

Smith is currently coaching his 28th soccer season at SCU and is the winningest coach in the history of the program. His players have gone on to win Olympic medals, lead long careers in professional soccer, and play for the U.S. National Team. Many of his former Broncos have gone on to have successful careers in medicine and TV, as well as high ranking positions at companies such as Google, Yahoo, and Nike. Several of Smith’s former players have also gone on to be successful entrepreneurs. The Academy will feature a series of seminars and workshops for the personal and professional development of parents, students, student-athletes, and coaches. Future plans include sports leadership courses for undergraduate and graduate students.

"Without a doubt, Jerry Smith's coaching style and mentorship allowed me to succeed as a soccer player and continue to benefit me as an adult today,” says professional soccer player and two-time All American Mandy Clemens ’99, “I'm thrilled to know that his knowledge and skill set will be made available to others who haven't had the advantage of being coached by him.”

The first workshop’s theme is “Building Self-Esteem through Sports.” The panel discussion will be led by Smith and panelists will include FIFA World Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist Brandi Chastain ’91, Former MLB all star and CSN Bay Area Giants analyst Randy Winn ’96, and SCU Baseball Head Coach Dan O’Brien. Participants will discuss using sports as a vehicle to build self-esteem, develop leadership, create healthy habits, improve teamwork, and enhance communication. The workshop takes place October 9 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Locatelli Center on campus and is free and open to the community.

To register for the workshop, please visit: http://bit.ly/JSCFLAworkshop

Media RSVP: Marika E. Krause mekrause@scu.edu 408-829-4836