Herringer, Benedictine (Kan.) to Host Premier Diploma Course in June
With the NSCAA’s headquarters located in Kansas City, it seems reasonable that the NSCAA would try and host some educational courses nearby. When one of the very best young soccer coaches in the country and a self-proclaimed "NSCAA lifer" heads up the talented men’s soccer program at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas – just 40 miles down the road from the NSCAA offices – the picture gets a little clearer.
When you hear the passion and appreciation that Rob Herringer has for the NSCAA, hosting a Premier Diploma course June 3-9 at Herringer’s NAIA’s Benedictine College makes perfect sense. Registration for the course has been extended to Monday, April 8.
“I would not be doing what I am doing today without the NSCAA,” said Herringer, who in eight seasons has led his alma mater to a 97-34-15 record and the rare double championship in 2012, when the Ravens earned both the Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) regular season and postseason tournament titles.
“The NSCAA is about education and it’s about values … for me, it’s about role models that have shaped the way I coach and lead today,” Herringer said. “The coaches who run the educational programs for the NSCAA are phenomenal people. I was taught by (former NSCAA Director of Coaching) Jeff Tipping, (current NSCAA Assistant Director of Coaching) Doug Williamson, (longtime NSCAA staff coach and past president) Paul Payne and I received my Premier Diploma from (legendary UNC women’s and NSCAA staff coach) Anson Dorrance.
“They taught me early on that the NSCAA is about giving back and they have inspired me to do that. Truth is, the best way to thank the NSCAA is to help them with their courses because I also know the NSCAA will continue to make me a better coach. And, why not do a course right here at Benedictine … we have everything the NSCAA needs.”
He would know best. Herringer graduated in 2000 from Benedictine College with a B.A. in English and Secondary Education, and again in 2004 with a Master of Arts in Educational Administration. He became an NSCAA Staff coach in 2002. As a player at Benedictine, Herringer was a four-year letterman and in 1999 was named Second Team NAIA All-Region and First Team All-HAAC forward for the Ravens. He was also named to the NAIA Academic All-Region and All-America Teams that same year.
“Benedictine is an ideal site for a coaching diploma,” Herringer said. “We have fantastic facilities, with a full-sized, soccer-only turf field … just steps away from a newly renovated dorm where the coaches will stay … we are right next to the cafeteria … it is perfect. We are very close to the KC International Airport, so you can get in and out quickly and are we are in a fun college town.”
As if that wasn’t a good enough sell, Herringer points out that this Premier Diploma course will most likely feature the NSCAA coaching education leadership.
“It’s always huge for coaches at any level who are seeking their advanced diplomas, to be taught by the leaders of our association,” Herringer said. “To have the knowledge and expertise of (NSCAA Director of Coaching) Ian Barker and Doug Williamson at a Premier Diploma course in a captive environment … I hope coaches from all over the country can take advantage of that opportunity.”
It’s an opportunity that will also feature a United Soccer League’s Premier Development League match between the Kansas City Brass and the Des Moines Menace.
“You don’t always get the opportunity for the coaches to assess premier players at this level,” Herringer said. “These two teams will play right here at Benedictine and this assessment is a key part of the course. Normally, we watch a youth club game or high school game for the match analysis portion of our coaching academies. A PDL game will probably be more entertaining for our coaches but, more importantly, the level of play should be very appropriate for the knowledgeable, experienced coaches who attend the Premier Diploma course."
Herringer knows all about taking advantage of the right opportunity.
Originally from Bellevue, Nebraska, Herringer was a first team All-Nebraska selection and three-time player of the year at Bellevue East High School. After graduating from Benedictine in 2000, Herringer, a product of the Omaha Gladiator Soccer Club, found himself teaching at Leavenworth High School in Leavenworth, Kansas.
“I was teaching English in my first job out of college,” Herringer said, “and both the boys and girls soccer coaches quit. So, a very brave man (Bob Strano, Activities Director for the Leavenworth Public Schools) asked me to coach both teams. Leavenworth is the home to one of the country’s biggest penitentiaries and also the Fort Leavenworth military base, where families would only be here for about a year and they would move on.
“Soccer just wasn’t very big in the community, and needless to say, we weren’t winning a lot of games. That’s when my assistant coach (Mike Robinson), who was much wiser and older than me, said to me, ‘if we are going to make these teams better, you need to go and make yourself better.’
“He told me right then and there I needed to get involved with the NSCAA and their coaching courses. And, I did what he told me to do.
“I received my National Diploma in 2001 on the campus of Penn State and my instructor was Jeff Tipping. From there I went on to get my Advanced National and Premier Diplomas. And, I also have a Master Coach Diploma from the NSCAA, which is very much like getting a UEFA A License.”
Receiving the coaching education from the NSCAA worked for Herringer. In 2004, he received the Kansas Youth Soccer Girls' ODP Coach of the Year award and was also granted the USSF April Heinrichs/Nike Coaching Education Scholarship. One year later, he was named the Kansas 6A Sunflower League Co-Coach of the Year, before moving on to Benedictine.
“Without that knowledge and experience from the NSCAA, who knows what I would be doing today.”
For certain, we do know Herringer will be the perfect host for the June 3-9 NSCAA Premier Diploma Course.
The Premier Diploma is the pinnacle of the Residential Academy offerings. The course content includes a thorough examination of different systems of play, including: technical and tactical implications; 11 vs. 11 topics, including coaching in the game, phase play and shadow play; nutrition; sportsmanship/ethics; and a leadership component including team management, personal development and the coach’s role in game development in his/her community. Interested applicants can apply now and are screened by the Director of Coaching, as enrollment is limited for each course.