Because Women Coaches Matter.
What began as a professional development program exploded into a network of women coaches and eventually the birth of The Alliance of Women Coaches. In 2003, the NCAA gave a grant to Celia Slater and Ann Salerno to host two pilot programs for women coaches across all sports and all NCAA divisions. These programs became what is known as the NCAA Women Coaches Academy. Alongside Celia and Ann, they invited Judy Sweet to offer her guidance, mentorship, friendship, advocacy, professionalism and support to the NCAA Women Coaches Academy classes and community of women coaches.
Year after year, session after session, it became apparent that regardless of their sport or division, these women coaches were experiencing many of the same challenges and sharing in similar exhilarating moments – ultimately, making a difference in the lives of their student-athletes. NCAA Women Coaches Academy graduates would continually ask how they could stay connected and thus the idea for an organization for women coaches was born. Initially, the thought was to make an “alumni organization” exclusive to Academy graduates, but as the idea evolved, it became obvious that there was a need to reach out to all women in the coaching profession. Though the sports they coach may be different, the skills they need to be successful beyond the Xs and Os are the same. Women coaches, regardless of sport, could benefit from enhancing their leadership, time-management, communication, motivation, and team-building skills to name a few.
In 2011, after twenty-plus successful Academies and with the determination and savvy of co-founders, Celia Slater and Judy Sweet, the Alliance of Women Coaches was formed as a non-profit organization. Motivated by the core belief that women coaches do matter, The Alliance is a collective voice and national network of women coaches that not only serves the individual but makes it possible for others to follow in their footsteps.
Judy Sweet – Alliance of Women Coaches co-founder
Judy Sweet, served as director of athletics at the University of California, San Diego from 1975 until 2000. She was the first woman in the nation to direct a combined men’s and women’s intercollegiate athletics program. From 2001 to 2006, Judy was NCAA senior vice president for championships and education services, and senior woman administrator. Since that time, she has been a consultant for several universities and organizations on gender equity, leadership and educational programs.
Judy has extensive experience with NCAA governance committees and was elected to a two-year term as membership president of the NCAA in January 1991, the only woman to have served in that position. Judy has also served in leadership positions for many local, state and national committees and boards of directors.
Judy has received many awards, including the 1998 Honda Award for Outstanding Achievement in Women’s Collegiate Athletics. In 2006 she was listed among the NCAA’s Centennial Anniversary 100 Most Influential Student-Athletes and received the NACDA James J. Corbett Memorial Award, which is presented annually to the collegiate administrator who “through the years has most typified Corbett’s devotion to intercollegiate athletics and worked unceasingly for its betterment.” That year Judy was also named the first NACWAA Legacy Honoree, and in 2007 she was named by the Institute for International Sport as one of the 100 Most Influential Sports Educators in America. In 2009 Judy was inducted into the Wisconsin State Athletics Hall of Fame. Judy is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, earned an MS degree from the University of Arizona and an MBA from National University, San Diego.
Celia Slater – Alliance of Women Coaches co-founder
Celia Slater is the co-founder of the Alliance of Women Coaches and many of the original programs, including the NCAA Women Coaches Academy (WCA), The Huddle, WeCoachU and the Winning Careers in Athletics.
Previously, she served at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, as head women’s basketball coach, SWA, co-director of the Honors Program and member of the First Year Experience Task Force. Celia was a four-year scholarship athlete and named Most Valuable Player of the women’s basketball team during her senior year at Florida State University. She earned her master’s degree in sports administration from the University of Northern Colorado.
Celia is dedicated to her personal and professional development. She is a graduate of the NACWAA Institute for Administrative Advancement, a certified Change Cycle Trainer and a certified facilitator for the Pursuing Victory with Honor Sports Ethics Program. Celia has been very involved in Toastmasters International and earned her Competent Toastmaster Credential (CTM). She is a gifted trainer, speaker and motivator and enjoys traveling to campuses to speak with students, coaches and administrators.