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College coaches and educators exit a MV-22B 'Osprey' flown by Marine Helicopter Squadron One pilots while attending the Coaches Workshop hosted by the Marine Corps Recruiting Command at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., on May 11, 2023. Upon completion of the workshop, attending coaches and educators will return to their schools and community equipped with a better understanding of the Marine Corps and ability to tell the Marine Corps story. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Gustavo Romero)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Gustavo Romero

Never Too Late to Learn: Coaches Attend Workshop

16 May 2023 | Lance Cpl. Payton Goodrich Marine Corps Recruiting Command

Marine Corps Recruiting Command hosted its annual Coaches Workshop from May 9 - 13, 2023. Coaches and educators from colleges and universities nationwide attended the event to learn about what it takes to become an officer.

Further, the event is designed to give attendees a firsthand look at what it takes to become a Marine Corps officer and an inside look at how Marines train.  This included various activities and training exercises to help coaches better understand how they can apply learnings to their teams.

“The goal of this workshop is to provide you the opportunity to learn about the Marine Corps and gain a better understanding of how we develop young men and women to become Marine Officers,” said Greg Gilliam, program manager for MCRC’s Educators Workshop Program.  “We hope coaches gain a better understanding of the leadership developmental process so that they can go back to your schools and communities and apply the learnings.” 

During the workshop, attendees took part in an obstacle course, the leadership reaction course, which tested their physical and mental toughness. They also had the opportunity to watch Marines navigate The Combat Course at Officer Candidate School. This included the Quigley, a 50-yard section of the course that can range in levels of discomfort for candidates.  Filled with dirty and foul-smelling water, barbed wire, concrete culverts, and someone yelling at you from start to finish, the visit gave coaches insight into the type of mental and physical toughness that it takes to become a Marine Corps officer. 

“I came here looking for an opportunity to learn and push my comfort zone a little bit,” said Justin Signorelli, the head wrestling coach at Alfred State College in Alfred, New York. “I also wanted to learn more from the hundreds of years of Marine Corps success in leadership to create a better athlete and to find better opportunities for my student-athletes.”

The workshop was developed to give coaches a different perspective.  They can look at Marine Corps training processes in hopes of gaining skills to enhance performance and outcomes for their teams.

“There’s always a lot of media attention on Marine Corps leadership, but if you don’t get to live it and you don’t get to experience it, then reading something on paper is truly different than experiencing something firsthand,” said U.S. Marine Capt. Francis Moore, officer selection officer for Recruiting Station Dallas.

In addition to these activities, attendees also had the opportunity to fly on a Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1) MV-22B ‘Osprey’ and learn about the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program. The martial arts program is designed to teach Marines the skills they need to defend themselves in close combat situations. HMX-1 was founded to test tactics, techniques, procedures, and equipment, but has since become synonymous with helicopter transport of the President of the United States.

The command hosts this event annually for college coaches and educators to ensure they understand the benefits of serving in the Marine Corps as they mentor their students and athletes regarding future career goals. By giving attendees a firsthand look at what it takes to become an officer in the Marine Corps, MCRC hopes to build stronger relationships with college coaches and educators across the country and to promote the benefits of becoming a Marine Corps officer.

“The specific leadership traits and skills required to succeed as a Marine officer are present in many student-athletes across the country,” said U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Daniel Juarez Jr, an officer selection officer with Recruiting Station Phoenix. “By bringing these college coaches and educators here and exposing them to the leadership styles of the Marine Corps, they can better take that back to their student-athletes to figure out and assess who is a good student-athlete and who might serve great as a Marine Corps officer.”

At the end of the weeklong Coaches Workshop, attendees left the event with a newfound appreciation for the Marine Corps and the skills it takes to complete the training. Marine Corps Recruiting Command plans to continue hosting this event in the future, with the hopes of reaching even more college coaches and educators across the country, to prove to them that the Marine Corps is a viable option for those young adults coming out of college.

“Going to The Basic School and seeing the obstacle course and different demonstrations and seeing the mental and physical endurance you have to have to be a Marine has given me a different perspective overall,” said Jaleesa Harper, the head women’s volleyball coach of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

MCRC will host the Educators Workshop for college educators June 13-17, 2023 here.  Workshops are held annually aboard Quantico and Marine Corps Recruit Depots Parris Island and San Diego.  To learn information visit

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