CSL Daily

August 30, 2016

Dwyer Weighs in on Impact of Kaepernick’s Protest

colin kSan Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit during the national anthem during a preseason game last weekend has dominated headlines and sportscasts and sparked intense reaction online and across sports talk radio.

Brendan Dwyer, Ph.D. offered some perspective on how the impact of the player’s high profile protest.

“In an age where some people believe courage comes in 140 characters or less, Colin Kaepernick did more in 90 seconds than a lifetime of tweets,” Dwyer said. “Many will argue [about] the act, but it appears he was prepared for the consequences, which cannot be said for most athletes’ behavior. The major question, in my opinion, is what will happen next? Will more athletes join Kaepernick’s cause? History suggests they will not.”

Just two days into the Fall semester and the Kaepernick story was discussed in both Dwyer’s Foundations of Coaching class and Greg Burton’s Sports Media class.

August 30, 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.



chaz coleman

Chaz Coleman (’16) has been hired as Facility Operations Manager at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, VA. Chaz will be assisting with the day-to-day operations in addition to the marketing and execution of events at the venue.



Kevin Tiller (’16) has been hired as Basketball Operations Associate for the Orlando Magic. Kevin will responsible for assisting in the on-court and off-court responsibilities for the team. Kevin worked as a graduate assistant for VCU men’s basketball for two seasons helping coordinate operations such as tickets, game day events, scout film, and team travel. He had been elevated to Director of Student-Athlete Development for the team before taking the position with the Magic.


rebecca lynch

Rebecca Lynch (’15) has been hired as a Group Sales Specialist for Madison Square Garden. Rebecca will generate group ticket sales for the New York Knicks, New York Liberty and New York Rangers in addition to live entertainment performances such as Christmas Spectacular.  Most recently, Rebecca was a group sales associate with the Richmond Flying Squirrels, Double A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants.


david metzendorf

David Metzendorf (’15) has been hired as the director of basketball operations for Holy Cross Men’s Basketball team. His primary responsibilities include serving as the team’s travel and video coordinator, in addition to assisting with recruiting efforts, summer camps and day-to-day office duties.Most recently, David was an assistant coach at Cornell University.


haylet simpson

Hayley Simpson (’12) has been promoted to Premium Sales Account Executive with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Hayley has been working for the Bucs since March 2014.


whitney curtis

Whitney Curtis (’11) has been hired as the Associate AD of Marketing at Jacksonville University. Whitney will oversee all external marketing and promotion initiatives for the athletic department. Most recently, Whitney was the Director of Marketing at Longwood University, where she worked in the athletic department for the past five years.


john poole

John Polle (’11) was honored amogn the 2016 Connect Sports Game Changers. Connect Sports is the leading sports tourism publication and website. The list represent individuals at the top of their game across the sports tourism industry.  John is currently the director of sports marketing and development for Discover Kissimmee


August 29, 2016

CSL Adds Bergakker (’12) as Business Manger

The Center for Sport Leadership at VCU is pleased to announce Abby Bergakker (’12) as our new Business Manager. Abby comes to the CSL from VCU Athletics where she was abbythe Director of Gift Processing and Donor Relations for almost four years.

“We are thrilled to have Abby as part of our team. She will bring a wealth of knowledge to our staff and will be an outstanding resource for our students and alumni,” said Carrie LeCrom, executive director of the Center for Sport Leadership.

Abby is responsible for the daily management of the CSL’s financial and administrative operations, including direct oversight of the Center’s budget, accounting, fiscal procedures, student financial aid, student-related records, and general financial practices.

“I am grateful to Dr. LeCrom for the opportunity to work with the CSL. I want to thank VCU Athletics for the incredible experience over the last four years.  I learned a great deal and I am ready for the next step in my professional development, working at one of the top ranked sports administration graduate programs in the world,” said Bergakker.

A native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Bergakker attended Messiah College near Harrisburg, Pa. While there, she garnered several awards as a four-year starter for the softball team and helped lead the Falcons to the 2009 NCAA Division III Softball National Championship. Bergakker was founding of the Messiah College Sport Management Society, and served as secretary from 2008-10. She graduated from Messiah with a degree in Sports Management in 2010.

August 26, 2016

CSL ’17 Earn Kia Kaha Bands


After successfully completing the ropes course, each graduate student received a black & gold band imprinted with two phrases.

The gold side says: “Kia Kaha”.
The black side says: ” #CSLnetwork”


They are a reminder of the mental toughness and teamwork the cohort displayed today.

We were taught the meaning of Kia Kaha by legendary Cal rugby coach Jack Clark, who spoke to the CSL in 2015.


August 26, 2016

Team Building for CSL ’17


Just like so many of the cohorts before them, the Class of 2017 tackled the ropes course at Signature Team Building (formerly Challenge Discovery). The students went through a series of exercises that promote teamwork, collaboration, focus and planning. Check out the video below and more pictures on our Facebook page. 

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August 25, 2016

Alumni Play Key Role on CSL Orientation Day


The #CSLnetwork was a main theme in Thursday Orientation Day for the Class of 2017.

The new graduate students watched a video with advice from members of the Class of 2016, who were sitting in those same chairs in The Parlors one year ago. You can watch the video below.

We also introduce an alumni keynote speaker to represent all of the successful and accomplished graduates of our program. Ryan Horn (’07) is the director of athletic performance for men’s basketball at Wake Forest and a highly respected member of the strength & conditioning community.

Horn told the Class of 2017 about the importance of making the most of the opportunity before them. He stressed the value of the CSL network but the need to develop and build relationship both in and outside of the network.


Our dedicated and enthusiastic alumni are one of the biggest strengths of our program and we are grateful to Ryan and the members of the Class of 2016 for making Orientation Day memorable for the incoming students.

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