The USCAA held the 2016 National Convention from June 5-8 in Richmond, Virginia at the Marriot Downtown hotel in Richmond, Virginia. The Convention brought together member institutions from around the country to discuss current issues and bring forth ideas and legislation to improve the organization.
The event began with the opening session on Monday, which featured excerpts from the USCAA National Office’s annual report, including the “State of the Association” from Executive Director Matthew Simms and championships report from Associate Director Michael Goodman. Additionally, the USCAA awarded the Directors Cup to the Rochester College Warriors, the first for the longtime USCAA member. The Garth Pleasant Honorary Athletic Director of the Year award was presented to Bob Backus of SUNY Delhi.
The USCAA also took this time to honor outgoing Board of Directors member Marty Ogle of Penn State Mont Alto. Ogle has served on the board for three years and as Athletic Director at Mont Alto since 1986. He has been instrumental in the growth of the Mont Alto athletic department, increasing the number of varsity and club sports offered along with the building of their own athletic facilities. His oversight and guidance has helped continue the USCAA’s growth during his tenure on the board.
Following the opening session, the convention kicked off its professional development seminars. PrestoSports representative, Jim Gehringer, gave a presentation to members about PrestoSports and the new software available to members. Later in the afternoon, Simms held an open forum discussion on USCAA Fall Championship week (full release to follow), which included location and date/time details for each of the Volleyball, Soccer, and Cross Country National Championships. All three tournaments will be hosted in Virginia Beach, Virginia this fall. Goodman held a professional development session on USCAA eligibility guidelines, going over the basics of USCAA compliance and giving members an opportunity to ask questions and receive guidance. The opening day of the convention was capped off with the welcome social, a night filled with casino games, the annual USCAA Cornhole National Championships, food, drinks, and prizes. This year’s welcome social was sponsored by Richmond Regional Tourism.
Tuesday began with the Championships Town Hall Session, an open forum discussion on topics proposed by the membership related to USCAA championship events. The next session featured the announcement of the new eligibility reporting process through ACS (Assistant Coach Systems). Chad Mandrell, Director of Sales with ACS, was on-hand to introduce the ACS system to members and answer questions. More information on this new process will be distributed during the summer. The ACS session was followed by the Ratings and Selections Town Hall meeting. Complete notes from the Town Hall sessions are included below. Subcommittees met after the town halls to evaluate discussion from the membership and provide recommendations for policy changes to the USCAA National Office. Recommendations from the subcommittees are included in the business meeting minutes (linked below).
Professional development sessions continued Tuesday afternoon with John Fritz from the Penn State University Athletic Conference (PSUAC) discussing coaching techniques and communication with student-athletes. Steve Geller, golf course management writer and superintendent, gave a presentation on the do’s and don’ts of field maintenance. Tuesday night’s social events included a historical tour of downtown Richmond, which featured stops at three local restaurants for food and drinks. Attendees also had the option to play a round of golf at The Club at Viniterra.
Wednesday morning began with Matthew Simms giving a presentation on hosting USCAA championships. At the same time, Michael Goodman hosted a professional development meeting on scheduling opportunities for members within the association. Just before lunch, Michael Fischer (Great Bay Community College) gave a presentation on athletic budgeting principles and solutions. This provided members with an opportunity to discuss their tips and suggestions with regards to their institutions athletic department budget. The convention concluded with the business meeting in the early afternoon where legislation proposals and Board of Director nominations were voted on and subcommittee recommendations were presented.
Below is the complete 2016 USCAA National Convention report. If you have any questions please contact the national office at 757-706-3756 or by email at [email protected].