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Coach Connection

It has been a record-setting year for the Coaches Advancement Program (CAP) of the Michigan High School Athletic Association, the interactive and face-to-face, eight-level coaches education program which the MHSAA delivers “anytime, anywhere” across the state and in conjunction with several Michigan colleges and universities.

With 20 more sessions still to occur, attendance has already exceeded the previous high of 2,055 course completions in 2013-14. By the end of this school year, individuals will have completed more than 25,000 CAP units since the 2004-05 school year.

MHSAA Assistant Director Kathy Westdorp is the energy behind this program. She’s an educator at heart and she lights up when welcoming coaches to CAP sessions. A growing cadre of presenters deliver CAP under her watchful eye.

It could have been easier had the MHSAA outsourced coaches education to an online provider; but too much would have been missed. Newer coaches would not have benefited from connecting with more seasoned coaches during group discussions; and the MHSAA would have missed this week-after-week connection with coaches of all sports in all parts of Michigan.

The thousands of dollars and hours that the MHSAA devotes to CAP demonstrates this organization’s belief that nothing – absolutely nothing – is more important in the process of educational athletics than the quality of the coach-athlete connection.

Posted in: Leadership

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About the Author

Jack Roberts

Jack Roberts has been at the helm of the MHSAA as its Executive Director since 1986, implementing programs and overseeing tournament administration and regulations for the Association which boasts 1,500 member schools, 10,000 registered officials and 13,000 head coaches.

During the last 45 years, Roberts has spoken to educator and athletic groups, business leaders and civic groups in almost every state and five Canadian provinces. He is one of the nation's most articulate advocates for educational athletics.

Roberts has served on the board of directors of the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO), is in his second term on the board of the National Federation of State High School Associations, and is the first chairman of the NFHS Network board of directors. He has been board president for the Refugee Development Center for nine years, and is a past-chair of the board of directors of the Michigan Society of Association Executives. He is chair of the board of trustees for the Capital Region Community Foundation for 2018.

He is a 1970 graduate of Dartmouth College, where he played defensive safety for the Ivy League's winningest football team during that span, and he sang in Dartmouth's close harmony vocal group.

His wife, Peggy, has retired from a 30-year career in social services, and is serving as president of the board of the Fenner Nature Conservancy in Lansing.