CSL Daily

July 29, 2016

Redskins QB Talks Leadership

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Redskins QB Kirk Cousins is probably most known for his enthusiastic post-game outburst last season, yelling “You like that?” after a dramatic Redskins victory.

Those who know him best know him as the consummate teammate and tremendous leader. Cousins talked about leadership Thursday following the first practice of the Redskins 2016 Training Camp, which kicked off just a few blocks from VCU’s campus.

Those words come almost five years to the day Cousins gave a memorable keynote address at Big Team Football Kickoff Luncheon in Chicago. Then a senior starting QB at Michigan State, Cousins talked about the privilege of playing football and the responsibility that comes with it.

July 28, 2016

CSL GAs Go Camping


The Class of 2017 doesn’t arrive for four weeks but the graduate assistant working with the VCU’s men’s basketball team are already on campus. They are working as instructors, coaches & counselors at the Will Wade Basketball Camp at the Siegel Center.

This is the 3rd week of the summer camp, which has had more than 500 participants. CSL graduate student Justin Levine says planning is the key.  “If the plan and preparation isn’t in place by the time the campers show up, we would be in trouble. Thankfully, we put a lot of thought into the week’s activities to make sure the kids have a great time and walk away as better basketball players.”


CSL alum and VCU men’s basketball director of player development Kevin Tiller is part of the camp staff as well as current graduate students Tre Brummell, Rhett Harrelson, Neil Farrell, Zach Freesman, & Connor Walsh.

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July 27, 2016

This Summer: Developing Female Leaders in Sport

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Each week, one of our alumni will share a special experience, adventure or opportunity from this summer.
This week, Sarah Whitney (’13), assistant director of marketing for University of Virginia Athletics, shares her thoughts after attending the premier leadership conference for women in college athletics. 

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“Be intentional”. “Be brief and brilliant”. These are lessons from CEO of NACWAA (National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators), Patti Phillips that are currently plastered on my office whiteboard. Over a four-day period in June, I participated in the NACWAA Institute for Administrative Advancement, a premier leadership development program for women in intercollegiate athletics.

This institute prepared over fifty women in various positions in intercollegiate athletics to enhance self-awareness and personal brand development. The conference focused on growing women in athletics in an industry that has significant male representation. Throughout the week, we were tasked with identifying our core values, creating our relationship matrix, evaluating our mental and physical well-being, and developing an action plan to grow our professional career. This was an incredible opportunity to reflect and ask ourselves key questions:

  • Are you fit to lead? Are you taking the time to recharge your body and your mind every day?
  • What kind of impression are you making on others? What kind of energy do you bring to a meeting?
  • How do you set your daily energy? How do you express gratitude?
  • What does your body language say about you?
  • Who is in your sphere of influence? How are you leveraging and building these relationships?
  • Are you “lifting as you rise”? How can you build others around you?


These questions can’t be answered on our own. We identified accountability partners to support each other and share updates on our action plans. The relationships that I built with these women are invaluable and I am grateful to NACWAA for providing me with this supportive network. I can contact any of these women and know that we will support and bolster each other’s future career endeavors. With this specific, timely, and measurable action plan in mind and identified timeline of strategies, I look towards the 2016-17 academic year with a renewed excitement towards my position in intercollegiate athletics.


For any current students or alumni interested in joining NACWAA, visit or contact Lisa Thuer, Director of Membership Engagement at


July 26, 2016

Hat Tip Tuesday

On Tuesdays, we offer a “tip of the hat” to current students and alumni who have been hired, promoted, recognized for outstanding achievement or embarked on new opportunities. 


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Connor Ford (’16) has been hired as a facility and event management assistant for University of Richmond Athletics. A recent graduate of the CSL, Connor will help plan, coordinate and execute activities for the Spider Athletics.


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Parker Kirwan (’16) has been hired by Blue Ridge School as intern/coach for the upcoming academic year. A recent gradate of the CSL, Parker will be the Head JV basketball coach and assist with the Varsity team. He will also serve as an assistant JV lacrosse coach in addition to other duties within the athletic department, resident life and other departments at the school located in St. George, Virginia.



Thomas “Tee” Neely (’15) has been hired as a coach and college counselor at Freedom Prep Academy in Memphis, TN. Tee will serve as the school’s rugby coach. Most recently, Tee was an academic advisor for athletics at the University of Memphis.


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Kelsey Crawford (’14) has been hired as the Ticket Manager for Gonzaga University Athletic Department. Most recently, Kelsey was Assistant Director for Ticket Operations at the University of Cincinnati. At Gonzaga, Kelsey will be responsibility in the management and administration of all aspects of the Athletic Ticket Office.


July 21, 2016

Field Trip & Team Building Egg-ercise Highlight Summer Seminar


Distance learning students on campus for this year’s summer seminar aren’t just sitting in the CSL workroom for 8 hours a day.  Field trips and interesting group exercises have been implemented to enhance this year’s topic “Group Dynamics”.


On Wednesday, the class traveled Richmond’s minor league baseball stadium, The Diamond. The Richmond Flying Squirrels are the Double A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants and one of the most well run and most respected front offices in minor league baseball. Our students heard from Team COO Todd “Parney” Parnell, who was named 2015 MInor League Baseball Executive of the Year. Known throughout baseball for their strong culture, Parney was asked how long it took to implement. “About five year. I didn’t really feel like it was in place until this season,” the team’s sixth playing in Richmond.


The class also heard from Andy Skeels, roving hitting instructor for the Giants, who has more than 30 years of professional baseball experience. A no-nonsense tactician, Skeels talked about making sure everything you do is focused on helping you win. Following the pre-game talk, the students and CSL staff  took their seats down the first base line and enjoyed a rare midweek day game for the home team.


On Thursday, Dr. Greenhalgh had everyone wondering why he brought a dozen of eggs to class. It wasn’t for an omelet station. It was part of a unique exercise that required the students to protect the egg when dropped to the ground. Watch the video to see what happened.


July 20, 2016

This Summer: Traveling with USA Volleyball

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Each week, one of our alumni will share a special experience from this summer.
This week, Virginia Pham (’16) shares her experience working as a statistician for USA Volleyball


I had the amazing opportunity this summer to be involved with the USA Volleyball Men’s Junior National Team (MJNT). Earlier this year in February, I received an invitation to be the Men’s Junior National Team Technical Coordinator (aka, statistician, video coordinator). I joined a great staff: the head coach was Jay Hosack, head coach of George Mason men’s volleyball; Jonah Carson, club director for Mountain View Volleyball Club; and Matt McCarthy, associate head coach of Lewis men’s volleyball. Pretty quickly, we held IMG_20160710_192300620conference calls to discuss which twenty players we would want to invite to the initial training block.

This year started a new round of the “junior team.” Youth and junior teams are a two-year cycle for USA Volleyball and the FIVB (the International Volleyball Federation). This year’s Junior group consisted of boys born in 1997-1998, so the group would be boys who were rising college freshmen and sophomores. The players had all tried out within the USAV High Performance program, which is the pipeline for USA Volleyball.

On June 22, nineteen players and the four staff members reported to the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center. We only had a few days to decide who we would want to keep on the final twelve-man roster. We trained two times a day, and had team meetings and film sessions every day. It was really a neat experience to be living and training at the OTC.

It was a tough decision, but the final twelve we picked consisted of players from Stanford, USC, UCLA, Long Beach State, UC Irvine, Pepperdine, Hawaii, Ohio State, and Princeton. We flew to Gatineau, Quebec on July 3 for the 2016 NORCECA U21 Continental Championship.


There were seven countries at this tournament. We were placed in Pool A with St. Vincent and Barbados. Canada, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, and Guatemala were in Pool B. The North American region, NORCECA, is not known to be as nearly as strong as the European or Asian regions; the main contenders in this would be the USA, Canada, and Cuba. Because there were only seven teams at this tournament, only one team would win an automatic bid to the 2017 FIVB U21 World Championships.

International matches are very different from NCAA matches. There are lots of restrictions in the NCAA as to what you can and cannot do. For example, in the NCAA, you cannot place any staff member behind the end lines of the court, and you cannot use your own video replay systems. For this tournament, we set up walkie-talkies and iPads for the coaches, and I scouted from the end line. I also set up an instant replay camera that synced up to the stats I was taking, so the coaches on the bench could watch video and see stats on the iPads.

After two matches, we won Pool A, defeating both Barbados and St. Vincent. By winning our pool, we got a bye in the quarterfinals, and then played Canada in the semifinals. That was the match the home crowd was waiting for. We ended up winning that match as well, and then faced Cuba in the finals. We knew Cuba would be a tough team to play, since they were probably more powerful than the team we had. We ended up losing just 1 set to them, but we won the match 3-1!


It is a pretty incredible feeling to represent your country and also win a continental championship. I am so thankful to USA Volleyball for allowing me to be a part of this year’s Men’s Junior National Team staff!