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Coaching Education Students Learn Lifelong Lessons

Students and alumni in Health and Exercise Studies' coaching minor reflect on their experiences in the program.

Crista Bain coaching swimmers at Athens Drive Magnet High School in Summer 2019
Crista Bain coaching swimmers at Athens Drive Magnet High School in summer 2019.

By Eliza Barsanti

The Health and Exercise Studies Department offers a 16 credit hour minor in coaching education to prepare students to assume coaching responsibilities in various sports. The minor gives students a combination of theoretical background knowledge and practical experience that helps find success in any coaching roles they take on in the future. A group of coaching minor students and alumni sent us some of the most valuable lessons they’ve learned throughout the program, and it’s clear that these students are equipped with skills and experiences they’ll remember for a lifetime!

The minor gives students the opportunity to learn about theoretical concepts relating to coaching and how to be the most effective coach possible. Students also have the opportunity to learn how successful practices are facilitated. Chandler Lasater ‘21 explains how seeing this behind the scenes element of coaching has been valuable to him in his career.

“The coaching minor has allowed me the opportunity to be educated about a completely different side of sports that I had never thought about before,” Lasater said. “I am extremely grateful for the classes I have taken that have taught me the basics of coaching, ranging from planning for a season, dealing with personnel issues, and running a successful practice and everything in between.”

Many coaching education minors agree that the program teaches them to be more effective, well-rounded coaches who know the coaching process inside and out. Bryce McCulley ‘21 is now a football coach.

“Being in the coaching minor has helped me in so many ways to become a better coach,” McCulley said. “The coaching techniques we learn have taught me the value of leadership and investing in players to make the most impact!”

Bryce McCulley and the students he coached at Green Hope High School in fall 2019.

One unique portion of the coaching education minor is the practicum course (HESM 301). Students pursuing the minor meet with the minor coordinator, Suzanne Williams, and are placed in a hands-on coaching role that aligns with their ultimate coaching goals. Former coaching minor Crista Bain ’21 reflects on her practicum experience and the opportunity she had to make an impact. 

“My favorite experience throughout my coaching education minor was my practicum with the Athens Drive Magnet High School Swim Team,” Bain said. “I loved getting hands-on experience with coaching and it felt great getting to apply the information we learned in class. We got to take swimmers to both Districts and States!”

The coaching education minor gives students the opportunity to hone their coaching skills, make an impact in the community and have fun along the way. For more information on coaching education and all five minors offered by HES, visit You can also check out the coaching minor’s Instagram @coachingncstate.