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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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GW becomes first school in A-10 to offer student-athlete leadership academy

The University has plans to launch a student-athlete leadership academy this month, designed to develop  leadership development skills among players and coaches.

The George Washington Student-Athlete Leadership Academy will be the first of its kind in the A-10 conference.

The program will be run by the Janssen Sports Leadership Center, a North Carolina-based company that serves as a consultant and aid for athletic departments with similar programs. The center, run by former Arizona Peak Performance Coach and Assistant Life Skills Director Jeff Janssen, boasts universities like Notre Dame, North Carolina, Michigan and Yale as clients.

“With the comprehensive scope and intensive depth of programming, the George Washington Student-Athlete Leadership Academy distinguishes GW as having one of the best leadership development programs in collegiate athletics,” athletic director Patrick Nero said.  “Not only does this innovative leadership academy maintain and enhance GWs reputation nationally, it provides the department with an advantage in attracting and retaining highly talented student-athletes and coaches.”

The academy will consist of six training sessions each school year, beginning in September, with follow-up meetings between each scheduled session. Though there are 433 student-athletes at GW, only 100 to 120 students are anticipated to pass through the program initially.

The University plans to have each intercollegiate athletic team represented in the academy by at least two members and one head or an assistant coach, aiming to have the vast majority of student-athletes on all of GW’s 22 teams participate in some level of the program before they graduate.

The program will initially launch with two facets: an emerging leaders program for sophomore and junior athletes and a veteran leaders program for upperclassmen already in established leadership positions.

Nero said the academy is designed to ease the transition process for freshmen and transfer students while also working with student-athletes to develop the tools they need to meet challenges.

“We want our student-athletes to be successful both in competition and life,” Nero said. “Our students have a passion for changing the world and programs like this will help them grow to be leaders both in and outside of the classroom.”

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