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Canadian Coaching Legend Andy Higgins to Speak October 1-2

Publish Date: 9/17/2009

September 17, 2009

MANSFIELD, PA— The Mansfield University Fall Leadership Lecture Series will present Canadian Olympic coaching Andy Higginslegend Andy Higgins for two events on October 1-2.

On Thursday, October 1, 7:30 p.m. in Allen Hall, Higgins’ topic will be “Coaching, Leadership and Developing Individual Abilities.”

On Friday, October 2, 10 a.m. in Alumni Hall, Room 307, his presentation is entitled “The Wisdom in Our Communities.”

Both events are free and open to the public.

A lifetime educator whose medium has been physical education, counseling, and sports, Higgins wrote and delivered the first formal coaching education/certification program in Canada. He was the University of Toronto's (UT) first full-time track and field coach and was a leader in establishing the University’s Track Club. He also created its first women's program. Higgins’ coaching model evolved into Canada's first High Performance Centre for Track and Field.

Under Higgins' leadership, UT won 21 Ontario University Athletics track titles, six Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union titles, and 21 national cross country medals.

He also served as a track coach at numerous Olympic Games, World Championships and other international competitions.

In the 1988 Seoul Olympics, Higgins coached Dave Steen to a bronze medal in the decathlon, Canada's medal ever in the event. He also coached decathlete Michael Smith, Canada's flag bearer at the 1992 Olympic Games, to world championship silver and bronze medals.

After spending four years in the corporate world, Higgins returned to sports in 1999 as the first director of the National Coaching Institute Ontario, a position he continues to hold.

A passionate advocate of coaching as a profession, Higgins was a founder of the Canadian Professional Coaches Association (now Coaches of Canada), and the Coaches Association of Ontario.

In 2001, Higgins was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame as a coach. In 2007, he received the Geoff Gowan Award, which recognizes lifetime contribution to coaching development. Presented by the Coaching Association of Canada, it is awarded to a coach who has presented a positive public image of coaching and enhanced the role of the coach with the Canadian public.

Higgins’ appearance is co-sponsored by the Mansfield University Organizational Leadership and Canadian Studies programs.

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