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CCIU Launching PIAA-Backed Certification Program for Coaches

Downingtown, PA – Being a successful coach in 2019 is about more than measuring wins and losses. To help current and future coaches navigate these changing expectations, the Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU) is launching a certification program, endorsed by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA). The program aims to help current and potential K-12 athletic coaches in the region gain new strategies to improve their impact on and off the field. Cohort members will have the opportunity to network with other professionals and obtain new strategies from successful coaches and experts in the field to help meet the growing needs of student-athletes.

The CCIU Athletic Leadership & Coaching Development Program was conceptualized by the CCIU after receiving feedback from local athletic directors about the complex challenges facing coaches. Dr. Joseph O’Brien, executive director of the CCIU, used the feedback to help develop this new concept. “Our student-athletes are dealing with so much more than just the wins and losses on the field, and many of today’s coaches don’t feel equipped to support them,” O’Brien explained. “After meeting with dozens of athletic directors across multiple counties, we kept hearing about the same challenges. The goal is for this cohort to empower athletic leaders to make a greater impact on their athletes as a whole.”

The CCIU is the only non-collegiate, public educational institution approved as a PIAA partner in the state. PIAA requires coaches to complete a coaching education course as well as a First Aid course from an approved provider. The CCIU’s program will utilize a cohort model featuring seven or eight modules (if First Aid certification is needed) to help coaches engage in topics surrounding the physical, mental and academic development of student-athletes. Further, cohort members will be able to engage in professional and career development with expert instructors who will leverage their coaching experience with topical expertise. Current and aspiring coaches will leave the program with a certificate from the CCIU and a professional portfolio showcasing work completed throughout the program. Act 48 hours will also be available.

“Coaches play a vital role in many students’ lives by building their self-esteem and teaching them invaluable life skills,” said O’Brien. “The CCIU is recognized as an educational leader across the state, so why not extend that into the athletic realm as well.

The program is open to all levels of current and aspiring K-12 athletic coaches. The cost of the program is $99 for the seven-module coaching education requirement, or $120 to add on the required First Aid course. There is an early bird discount of $10 off if you register by June 19, 2019 for one of three available cohorts running as follows:

  • Summer Boot Camp, Afternoon Session: July 22-July 25, 2019, 1:00-4:00 p.m.
  • Summer Boot Camp, Evening Session: July 22-July 25, 2019, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
  • Fall 2019 Cohort: September 24 & October 1, 8, 15, 6:00-9:00 p.m.

To register for one of the available cohorts, please visit

Ashley Boyd