Three Olympians will be on the West Virginia University campus next week as part of the 2015 National Coaching Conference hosted by the WVU College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences.

Edward Etzel, 1984 Rifle and gold medalist and West Virginia University faculty member, Melinda Rhoads, 1984 Team Handball and 4th place in the Games and Clarissa Chun, 2008 and 2012 wrestling and bronze medalist in London, will attend the opening reception of the conference June 9 from 6 to 9 p.m. in Hall B at the Waterfront Place Hotel.

The event is free and open to the public.

The conference, which runs June 10-12, is sponsored by the United States Coaching Coalition, made up of the U.S. Olympic Committee, NCAA, National Federation of State High School Associations, SHAPE American and the National Strength and Coaching Association.

WVU CPASS athletic coaching education faculty have a strong presence in the field and these organizations.

Kristen Dieffenbach, associate professor, athletic coaching education at WVU, has a history working with the USOC and various athletic coaching education associations, including the National Council for the Accreditation of Coaching Education. She has attended the conference for the past nine years.

“This conference has been growing in strength and size. This year we have a strong program that includes both national and international scholars and leaders in the field,” said Dieffenbach.

This year’s theme is “Physical Literacy: The Launching Pad for Lifetime Athletic Development and Performance,” which focuses on integrating athletic development for both performance and participation. Top speakers, researchers and coaches will be on campus to discuss these ideas.

Dean Kriellaars, associate professor from Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Manitoba, will highlight the keynote speakers. He is a world-renowned physical literacy expert whose research focuses on obesity and prevention of disease and injury.

Also speaking is Tom Farrey, ESPN reporter and executive director, Aspen Institute, Sport and Society Program; Sergio Lara-Bercial, International Council for Coaching Excellence; Brain Hainline, chief medical officer, NCAA Sport Science Institute; and Dan Schuster, director of coaching education, National Federation of High Schools.

For more information about the event and to register as a participant, please visit:



CONTACT: Kimberly Cameon, College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences

Check for the latest news from the University. Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.