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NWCA Scholastic Leadership Academy Presented by The United States Marine Corps

The NWCA, through a collaborative effort with internationally renowned coaching development expert, Dr. Dan Gould at Michigan State University, has constructed a gold standard leadership program to help scholastic coaches accomplish the following: Strengthen their CEO skills, strengthen the alignment of wrestling programs with educational values, and substantially improve the recruitment and retention of wrestlers in the scholastic environment.

Since Fall 2017, we’ve held 54 CEO Academies (AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, IN, KS, KY, MD, MI, MO, NC, ND, NE, NJ, NY, NM, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WA, and WI) with well over 2,000 participating coaches. These Academies are completely FREE for the participants and they work best when we can get a minimum of 50 coaches in attendance.

The two models that have proven to be the most effective are as follows:

  • Piggyback on a mandatory State High School Athletic Association Rules Interpretation meeting if applicable….(in 2017, Arizona, Alabama, and Delaware were examples of this model).  The coaches were not required to attend our Academy but most do.
  • Partner with a state high school wrestling coaches association annual clinic (of course, not every state has a coaches association but most do).  Our Workshops were held on the day prior to the multi-day coaches association clinics.  Each coach association board member was responsible for recruiting 4 to 5 coaches into the Academy.
  • The Delaware Interscholastic Coaches Association was able to secure CEU credits for their coaches who also teach (we encourage all state coaches associations to look into this).

The need for this training has never been greater when you consider the following wrestling vital signs:

  1. High school boys participation is down approximately 30,000 since 2011.
  2. The average roster size has shrunk from 37/team to 23/team
  3. On average, 29% of high school dual meets are now forfeits
  4. High school girls wrestling continues to see explosive growth.  However, we need to continue to grow the number of girls wrestling at the high school level to keep up with the rapid growth of college programs.

As daunting as these stats might look, it is really only a matter of each high school coach recruiting 3 additional students onto his roster.  I am certain that our program will help them achieve that objective.

With this in mind, our scholastic CEO Leadership Academy has been modeled off of a college version we’ve had in place since 2010.  It works like this:


1360 Evaluation

Complete a 360 evaluation in an effort to understand how administrators, wrestlers, alumni, and parents view the coach’s proficiency in various areas.

2Online Modules and Workbook

Coaches complete a workbook as they go thru a series of online modules (i.e. recruitment/retention, working with parents, promoting girls wrestling, safety, etc.)

3In-Person Workshop

Upon completing the workbook, they attend an “in person” workshop (can be 4-6 hours but 6 hours is preferable). We bring in a Marine Corps keynote speaker who lets the coaches under the Marine Corps “recruiting” tent. They have a tried proven strategy for recruiting that would work great for scholastic wrestling coaches.

4Practice with a Marine

We then encourage the coaches to invite a Marine Officer into their practice room. Click here to see how Univ. of Missouri wrestling coach leverage this opportunity after our college coaches CEO Academy:


The NWCA is currently accepting nominations (head and assistant coaches) for upcoming academies.

  • Must be an active coach and member of the NWCA
  • We encourage head coaches to bring assistant coaches and every coach from all levels in their community.
  • Priority is given to High School and Middle School Head and Assistant Coaches
  • Club Coaches who have career aspirations to be a middle school or high school coach should apply

There is no cost for any of this but we do need a commitment from at least 50 coaches to attend the “in person” workshop to appease our sponsors (who are underwriting all costs). Each online module takes about 15 to 20 minutes to complete and there are 12 modules. It is important that all participating coaches complete the 360 evaluation and online modules before attending the “in person” Academy workshop so they understand the basic CEO concepts prior to having small/large group discussion around each concept.

The Academy workshops primarily consist of small and large group facilitation. The “in person” Academy workshop is designed to have 4-5 coaches assigned to a season veteran coach at each table. A large group facilitator will lead all participating coaches through a series of “thought-provoking” discussions designed to establish “best practices” to substantially increase participation and retention of wrestlers. The seasoned veteran coach at each table will facilitate discussion at each table. The end result will be a terrific opportunity for all coaches to share ideas with each other.

Our Academies are filling up fast so if you have enough interest from coaches in your region, please contact our Academy coordinator, Bud Hennebaul at 678.794.5756 or via email at or apply here.