TopConnect 2020 is going virtual this year, taking place June 11 and 12. TopConnect (formerly Villa 7) originated in 2003 by then VCU Athletic Director Dr. Richard Sander, identifying the top basketball assistant coaches in the country and connecting them with mid-major Athletic Directors providing tremendous networking opportunities for both parties. The 2020 class has 61 men’s assistant coaches and 11 women’s assistant coaches participating in this prestigious event.
TopConnect also develops programming that allows these top assistant coaches to hear from a wide variety of successful leaders. Prominent head coaches, panels of mid-major Athletic Directors, major media and sport influencers, the inner circle of college basketball and extremely successful business leaders share their leadership experiences. The three-word mantra of “Connect. Prepare. Lead.” identifies the purpose of TopConnect.
This year’s presenters include national coach of the year Dayton’s Anthony Grant, national mid-major coach of the year ETSU’s (now Wake Forest) Steve Forbes, Hall of Fame Coach Muffet McGraw, Hall of Fame Coach and current University of Tennessee Athletic Director, Phillip Fulmer and three-time NFL Coach of the Year, Mike Smith. Additionally, three panels of AD’s will discuss what they look for in hiring a coach, expectations of the head coach and building a successful basketball program. A panel of Division 1 University Presidents organized by ETSU’s President Dr. Brian Noland will discuss basketball’s role from the CEO perspective.
Other areas covered will be the search process moderated by Dan Walters (Buffkin/Baker) and Jeff Schemmel (College Sports Solutions), the media perspective including ESPN’s Seth Greenberg and Debbie Antonelli, as well as Stadium Basketball Insider’s, Jeff Goodman. Also presenting is ETSU’s Chair of the Department of Media and Communications, Dr. Stephen Marshall, who will share his expertise in using social media to build a personal brand.
Since the inception of Villa 7 (now TopConnect), the program has spawned numerous Division 1 head coaches including Anthony Grant (Dayton), Buzz Williams (Texas A & M), Shaka Smart (Texas), Steve Forbes (Wake Forest), Rodney Terry (UTEP), John Groce (Akron), Kevin Keatts (NC State) and recently Greg Gary (Mercer), Brett Nelson (Holy Cross) and Bryan Mullins (Southern Illinois).
TopConnect works in conjunction with East Tennessee State University’s Doctoral program in Global Sport Leadership. Van Wagner, Fast Model Sports, ARMS Software and Daktronics continue to support TopConnect.
For further information you can email Dr. Richard Sander at [email protected].
Here is this year’s list of attendees:
|Grant||Billmeier||Seton Hall University|
|Bryan||Hodgson||U. of Alabama|
|Marcus||Jenkins||U. of Richmond|
|James||Miller||New Mexico State|
|J.D.||Powell||College of Charleston|
|Willie||Watson||U. of North Alabama|