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Transformative Coaching and Leadership

“Coaching is Teaching.” -John Wooden
John Wooden


Overview of Program

The degree program is informed by an ethic of social justice, where teaching and coaching in various contexts—collegiate sports, professional sports, K-12 schools, Boys and Girls Clubs and other community sports programs—are analyzed through the lens of equity, access, diversity, and human dignity. We aim to contribute to the creation of a more just, equitable and humane society through enlightened and socially conscious sports education and leadership.

The program is undergirded by an understanding that "teaching" and "coaching" are sister disciplines born of a common parentage whose goals are nothing other than educational excellence and execution, in the classroom and on the court. Faculty of the program consists of experts and practitioners in the field of sports including legendary coaches and seasoned athletic directors as well as renowned faculty from the field of Education.


Basketball coach and boy fist bumping


Goals, Guiding Principles & Curriculum


Cultivation of one’s own philosophy of coaching based on deep beliefs and values

Understanding and application of coaching, teaching and leadership principles

Appreciation of ethical values and principles and their relevance to sports coaching and leadership

Field experiences and reflections on field practices


A holistic understanding of persons: human beings as physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual beings

Embracing a transformational model of coaching and leadership (rather than merely transactional)

Appreciation of the intersection of theory and practice: deep reflection on practice in light of theory and knowledge (“reflective practice”)

Commitment to a social justice ethic including commitment to equity, inclusion and diversity


Features of the Program

• Coaching field experience / internships • Personalized plan of study • Mentorship by expert other • Development of a professional portfolio

Courses in the degree program include:

  • Philosophies of Coaching
  • History and Philosophy of Sport and Physical Education
  • Ethics in Sports Principles of Effective Teaching and Coaching
  • Mental Health in Coaching
  • Diversity Leadership in Sports and Athletics
  • Education of Contemporary Athletes
  • Educational Innovation and Diversity in Sport and Entertainment
  • Directed Field Experience

Candidates will also be able to devise an individualized plan of study according to their area of interest and be able to take electives from numerous departments and schools across campus, including Psychology, Anderson School of Management, Sociology and others.

Our Students
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Graduate students at UCLA Department of Education benefit from — and contribute to — the resources of the country’s number one public graduate school of education.

A distinguished faculty committed to research and teaching and excellent research centers and institutes offer extraordinary opportunities for graduate endeavors.

The Ed&IS Office of Student Services looks forward to assisting you through the application process. If we can be of service to you in any step of this process, please feel free to contact any one of our advisors.

Transformative Coaching and Leadership Application Checklist

Internship Opportunities

Internships offer the opportunity to apply classroom knowledge and theory to practice and to embrace your own authentic model for leading with purpose and integrity.

Contact Us

Head of Student Affairs

Amy Gershon

Division Administrative Assistant

Division Graduate Advisor