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ACE graduate student earns travel grant to attend national conference

Billy Cedar, a student in the college’s first year on campus master’s program and successful strength and conditioning graduate assistant in a Morgantown area high school, was awarded a student travel grant from the Eastern Tennessee State University’s Center of Excellence for Sport Science and Coach Education for their upcoming Coaches College December 1-2, 2017 held at ETSU. Read more about Billy in the following Q&A series.

Why did you choose the CPASS master’s program? What is your favorite aspect of the program?

The opportunity to serve as a graduate assistant is what initially drew me to WVU and CPASS. The blend of practical experience and classroom education made CPASS an easy decision when choosing my graduate education. My favorite aspect of the Athletic Coaching Education master’s program is the diversity of the classes we take. The program offers a well-rounded curriculum that is raising the standard for what quality coaching can be.

Talk about your S&C position at the high school. How did you learn about the assignment?

I currently serve as the Strength and Conditioning Coach a t Morgantown High School, overseeing all of the strength training done by MHS’s athletic teams. I am fortunate to work with a variety of teams and student -athletes. I first heard about this position while interning at the University of Michigan. One of the coaches there knew Dr. Hornsby a nd, when he heard of the opening, referred me. I interviewed for the position and, before I knew it, I was moving down to Morgantown.

How do you think the experience at the high school will help you in your career?

Working at MHS gives me the opport unity not only to coach, but to actually run an S&C program. I work with all of the coaches to plan the weight room schedule so that as many teams as possible are being served. I consider it my responsibility to maintain a high standard of care for our amazing facility. Being able to gain experience beyond the X’s and O’s of S&C is what makes this experience even more valuable than graduate assistantships elsewhere.

Do you have a mentor at CPASS? How is he/she helping you succeed?

Yes, Dr. Guy Hornsby is my mentor. Dr. Hornsby’s role as my mentor cannot be overstated. He has provided an opportunity for me to pursue my passion for weightlifting at West Virginia Weightlifting. Dr. Hornsby teaches me valuable lessons about coaching and S&C on a daily basis. I am very grateful for his guidance and support.

What do you hope to gain at the conference?

I’m very excited about the opportunity to attend Coaches College. I will be meeting and listening to talks from coaches I greatly admire. I am looking forward to being able to speak with them and learn from their years of experience. I think the best thing I can bring is a desire to learn. Regardless of age or level of experience, coaching education is an absolute necessity. I am excited to be able to bring my passion for coaching education to the conference.

What is your goal once you earn the master’s degree?

After earning my master’s degree, I plan to work as an S&C coach. Many young S&C coaches aspire to work for specific institutions or with specific teams. These details are not on my list of concerns. I love the idea of being a part of a team and community, and therefore, I know I would like to work for an academic institution’s athletic program. However, the logo on my t-shirt is of little importance to me.

Final comments

I am so grateful for having been awarded the student travel grant for Coaches College and the opportunity to represent WVU and CPASS at the conference. I especially want to thank Dr. Hornsby for his support and the encouragement he provided for me to attend the conference.

Dr. Guy Hornsby, CPASS Athletic Coaching Education teaching assistant professor, says that Billy Cedar is passionate about his work. “From a training and planning standpoint, Billy is a diligent coach who pursues an evidence based approached. In the classroom, Billy is not afraid to challenge himself and ask questions. As a coach, Billy has quickly built solid relationships with his coaches and athletes at MHS. Much of this is due to his personality and his passion for S&C.”

Dr. Hornsby suggests that aspiring students make an effort to reach out to experienced coaches who utilize an evidenced based approach. In addition to asking questions about what they do, students should provide info about their passion ask for advice.

Conferences, like the Coaches College that Billy is attending, are a great way to build a network of scientifically minded coaches, according to Dr. Hornsby.

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