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Jason Golden, who coaches the ODA middle school football team and the Venice girls tennis team, assumed his newest role — Area Director for Coaches of Excellence. Courtesy photo.
East County Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012 5 years ago

Organization hopes to empower coaches

by: Jen Blanco Sports Editor

LAKEWOOD RANCH — Jason Golden is on a mission.

Whether it’s building relationships with other coaches, taking a three-dimensional approach to coaching or capturing the heart of his players, the River Club resident, The-Out-of-Door Academy middle school football coach and Venice girls tennis coach is focused on one goal — changing the world, one coach at a time.

It’s the mission of Coaches of Excellence, a non-profit organization formed by Rod Olsen in 2005 with the goal of making a difference in the lives of children by equipping and empowering coaches with the tools and resources to connect with the athletes.

“The commitment level is very different now then it was when we were young,” Golden says. “You have to capture their hearts first in order to get them to do what their coaches are asking them to do.”

Golden, who spent the past six-and-a-half-years working for the Gulf Coast Fellowship of Christian Athletes, most recently as its coaches ministry director, assumed the position of area director for Coaches of Excellence Aug. 1.

“It was time to move on to this now,” Golden says. “(FCA) was great. It’s just different. This allows me to spend time with coaches and be in the ‘sweet spot’ constantly. It allows me to spend time doing my passion.”

As area director, Golden spends time meeting and building relationships with coaches, administrators, community leaders and parents across Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte counties, with the hope of providing them with the tools and resources necessary to impact kids’ lives.

Coaches of Excellence takes a three-dimensional approach to coaching — focusing first on being a fundamentally sound teacher of the sport, second on the psychology associated with understanding the mind of today’s athlete and, finally, on capturing the heart and spirit of the athlete.

“Coaching is not a profession; it’s a calling,” Golden says. “Coaches are held to higher standards because they’re going to leave a legacy.”

Olsen, former Appalachian State and Oklahoma State football coach, founded Coaches of Excellence after he realized there was a different way to coach coaches, and, in doing so, change the way in which coaches treat athletes.

Golden first met Olson six years ago during an FCA training session. Since then, Olson has served as a mentor for Golden — something he continued to do even after Olson left FCA for Coaches of Excellence.

“He (helped) me see my vision to give to other coaches and my passion and desire to reach coaches,” Golden says.

Golden shared about Coaches of Excellence and its vision for the area Tuesday, Aug. 28, during a kick-off event for the organization’s upcoming marathon golf fundraiser.

The Golf Marathon will be held Nov. 8, at The Meadows Groves Course. The event is open to 36 golfers and Coaches of Excellence is currently looking for marathon golfers, sponsors and donations.

All marathon golfers are asked to help raise money by sending out pledge letters to family, friends and colleagues with the goal of raising $2,000 each. Overall, Coaches of Excellence hopes to raise $40,000, which will go toward providing resources for coaches, parents and teachers.

“It’s about changing lives,” Golden says.

For more information on Coaches of Excellence, the Golf Marathon or to become involved in the organization, contact Jason Golden at [email protected] or 539-6083 or visit the organization’s website at

Contact Jen Blanco at [email protected].

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