Tuesday, March 02, 2021

NAECAD's 4th Annual Coaches and Directors Clinic

Join Us Virtually March 3-5, 2021

The National Association of Esports Coaches and Directors (NAECAD) invites you to the 4th Annual NAECAD Coaches and Directors Clinic. The clinic will take place virtually on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, March 3-5, 2021.

We have specifically designed this clinic for Directors, Coaches, Athletic Directors, Administrators, and other vital esports roles currently involved with university and high school esports programs. The clinic will also provide valuable information for schools that are exploring the idea of starting a competitive varsity esports program.

This three-day virtual event will consist of keynote speakers, panel sessions, and round table discussions presented by leaders within the esports industry, including many coaches and directors at the high school and collegiate levels.

Details and Highlights

  • Over 45 sessions, keynotes and roundtable learning opportunities.
  • Specific sessions for beginning and exploring esports programs at the high school and university level.
  • Specific sessions for advanced esports programs at the high school and university level.
  • Back by popular demand - roundtable discussions to network and learn from individuals with similar responsibilities/roles.
  • Clinic sponsor presentations for latest resources and services.
  • Network social events to meet other professionals in the competitive esports world.
  • All sessions will be recorded and clinic attendees will have access to every session on the NAECAD-CP platform after the clinic is over.
  • Click here to view the schedule


Clinic Registration Fee: $150

NAECAD Members will receive an email with a discount code for $50 off the registration fee.

Current university or high school students interested in becoming an esports coach or director can email contactus@naecad.org to receive a discount code for $50 off the registration fee.

Become a NAECAD member to enjoy these discounts and click below to register.


The registration fee is non refundable. You will receive a confirmation email upon successfully registering for the clinic. If you have any questions or issues with registration, please email contactus@naecad.org.


Kevin Hoang

Scholastic Program Manager, Twitch

Understanding Twitch and How Live Streaming is Shaping Esports in Education


Description: This session will take a close look at Twitch, the interactive live-streaming service where creators can share the things you love with a community of millions, and carve out a tight-knit corner of the internet to call your own. At Twitch, our mission is to empower people to come together to create live, shared entertainment and Twitch Student’s goal is to educate, empower and give students’ confidence to have their voices heard in the gaming and esports industry. Kevin will help those in attendance see the future of the esports industry and how Twitch can help students of today achieve great things, both academically and within the gaming community.


Bio: Kevin "Kebunbun" Hoang is the Program Manager at Twitch. Kevin currently works on the Twitch Student program and has dedicated himself to creating gaming and esports opportunities for students. Prior to Twitch, Kevin founded the Washington Gaming Association at the University of Washington.

Daniel Clerke

Director, Maryville University Esports

A View from the Top: How Maryville University Esports Has Set the Standard for Excellence


Description: World Championship and National Championship Director, Dan Clerke, shares how Maryville University Esports program was formed, what it’s priorities are, where it has been, where it is going. You won’t want to miss this season as Clerkie challenges all esports coaches and directors to take their programs to the next level.


Bio: Daniel Clerke is an experienced esports manager who has operated at the professional level for the last 8 years, winning over $5 million and 2 World Championships. He is also the founder and director of the top performing University program in the country at Maryville University. Known as a titan of the collegiate space, his program has won 2 of the last 3 League of Legends National Championships. He has been referred to as the “Nick Saban of esports” by the St. Louis Post Dispatch.


  • Dr. Chris Haskell (Boise State University) - Taking Your Arena from Good to Great!

Description: An arena is a window into your program, it speaks about your values when you cannot.  The physical space recruits, protects, promotes, defends, and in all things, stands in for you and your institution.  Doc Haskell shares with you simple, effective ways that you can organize, decorate, photograph, and structure your space to do much more than you can imagine.

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Bio: Dr. Chris Haskell plays video games for a living, or at least that’s what his friends think. He's the Head Coach and Director of the Varsity Esports at Boise State, 2020 Collegiate Esports Coach of the Year (NAECAD) and 2020 Esports Director of the Year (NACE). As a professor, "Doc" also focuses on the impact of video games, virtual worlds, and digital culture.  When it comes to work, Dr. Haskell is serious about play. It’s no wonder his friends think he needs a real job.

William Collis (Gamer Sensei/Team Genji) - The History of Esports: The Business Models Driving The Growth of Our Industry

Description: Want to know why esports became so successful, so quickly? Join William Collis, author of The Book of Esports and multi-exit esports entrepreneur, as he walks through his BAMS and SCARS frameworks to explain the cultural and economic factors leading to the rise of esports. From Bertie the Brain to League of Legends, William charts the evolution of esports – and predicts the future of competitive gaming as a whole. And if you want to learn more, be sure to check out The Book of Esports, available wherever books are sold.

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Bio: William Collis graduated from Amherst College cum laude and Harvard Business School as a Baker Scholar. After working for BCG and Hasbro, William co-founded Gamer Sensei, raising $6M in venture capital before the company sold to Corsair.  William is currently co-founder of the esports data analytics company Team Genji, which was acquired by Esports Entertainment Group in early 2021.

William is the author of The Book of Esports: The Definitive Guide to Competitive Gaming, published by Rosetta. William is also the subject of the forthcoming Harvard Business School cases Choosing the Right Esports Business Model and Oxygen Esports, and co-author of award-winning Harvard Business School case One Game to Rule Them All.  William is co-host and co-founder of the popular Business of Esports podcast, and an Honorary Professor of Esports at Becker College.

Scott Novis (Bravous Esports) - Generating Student Engagement through Esports

Description: The vast majority of programs focus on competitive esports.  This has a tendency to funnel attention and resources to the top players within a given community.  Esports has the opportunity to do much more than simply replicate the “elite competition for elite competitors” model of traditional sports.  We believe there are other approaches that can be used to create an environment, “where you could make a friend.”

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Bio: Scott Novis is a serial entrepreneur with two engineering degrees and is named on 11 patents. A 20-year video game executive and former Vice-president for the Walt Disney Company, with credit on 15 video games. He created the mobile video game party industry when he founded GameTruck, which has entertained more than 10 million children over the last decade and a half. He launched Bravous Esports in 2018 to bring together the best in positive coaching, competition, and inclusion to create a positive community environment. Bravous Esports is breaking the stereotype of gaming as an isolated activity.  A leader in Campus Life events Bravous has worked with hundreds of colleges delivering Virtual Esports Opens and in-person Esport entertainment programs.

  • Victoria Horsley (UCEA) - Toxicity: Safe Play and Competition for Everyone

Description: Covering the issues that many people see in gaming, the different types of toxicity, and how campuses can combat them.

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Bio: Victoria Horsley has been in esports for nearly eleven years, the last four of those being mainly collegiate oriented. She also has previous experience in traditional sports as an event manager for the NFL Super Bowl and the NCAA Men’s Final Four. Victoria fell in love with gaming at a very early age with Zelda and Kingdom Hearts, then proceeded to fall into competitive gaming with Rainbow Six: Siege. She spent the first four years of her time in esports at the amateur/semi-professional level with coaching, recruiting, managing and heading operations. It is her goal to create opportunities for as many people as possible who are passionate about esports and hope to obtain a career in the field.

  • James O'Hagan (Racine Unified School District) - Building K-12 Esports Buy-In From Critical Stakeholders

Description: Many think the first step to a scholastic esports program in K-12 schools is to pick the games to play and the computers to purchase. Hint, it is not. Building a sustainable esports program requires buy-in from a broad base of stakeholders. Stakeholders will all have their wants and wishes. Listen as this educator with over 20 years’ experience developing several district-wide initiatives shares thoughts and insights to help jump start your quest to bring esports to your students.


Bio: James O'Hagan is a leader in connecting and promoting esports in education. He has had a role in starting and growing esports teams in two large urban school districts. He actively promotes esports as being a medium to something more for students beyond the games. His podcast, The Academy of Esports delves into topics surrounding esports and education and connecting into powerful ideas to increase student agency, motivation, and college and career pathways. James is a doctoral candidate at Northern Illinois University in the field of instructional technology and a mostly retired rugby player.

  • John Shoemaker (Palm Beach County School District) - Esports Essentials: Engaging Students with Gaming

Bio: John Shoemaker is an Educational Strategist, Digital Learning Specialist, Futurist, Consultant, and Educational Technology Specialist for the Department of Educational Technology at the School District of Palm Beach County located in West Palm Beach, Florida. He has a passion for pedagogy and technology integration, especially surrounding emerging technology. Having progressed through multiple roles in education over the past 18 years from classroom teacher to district administrator, he has a wide-ranging skillset that aligns to his passions. His background includes expertise in creating, developing, and implementing learning programs, courses, trainings and workshops, and instructional materials to facilitate participants’ further education and learning. Over the past 12 years, he has worked with teachers and administrators through professional development training and workshops, coaching, online courses, and one-on-one mentoring. He prides himself on supplying relevant, high quality professional development. He is also the Esports Facilitator for his district.

  • Laurie Boyer (St. Lucie Public Schools) - Game On: Building a Quality Academic Esports Program from Ground Up

Description: Laurie Boyer will share her experiences with building, designing and implementing a new academic-centered esports program and how St. Lucie Public Schools became one of the first clubs to join the Florida Scholastic Esports League.  Attendees will learn about the successes and challenges of start-up, community buy-in, marketing and curriculum design.  Participants will learn about the design of the schools’ unique Esports Lab and get a deeper look at club recruitment and implementation.  Boyer will present on how to leverage marketing opportunities to bring community awareness to esports, tournaments, college scholarships, etc.


Bio: Laurie Boyer, M.B.A. is the MSAP Outreach & Technology Integration Specialist for St. Lucie Public Schools. Her previous roles include being an Instruction Specialist, Instructional Coach and Educator in diverse school settings.  Her passion for innovation, collaboration and STEM drives her daily work. She has created the first high school esports team in the district and collaborates with members of the Florida Scholastic Esports League on curriculum and club implementation. She has helped pilot the first Girls Who Game cohort at the middle school level. She trains K-12 educators on technology integration and developed Leaders of Innovative Technology cohorts for educators and administrators. Laurie is a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, MIEE Fellow for Florida, a Nearpod Certified Educator and is FETC Coaching Collaboration Certified. She has presented at numerous national conferences such as Future of Education Technology Conference, National Conference of Teachers of Mathematics and STEM Ecosystems Convening of Practice.

  • Armand Buzzelli (Robert Morris University) - Show Them Your Worth: Using an Evidence Based Approach to Illustrate Value

Description: This presentation provides participants with an explanation of the "Docking Model" of enrollment growth. It also provides examples of considerations for developing program assessments and explains how the evidence from those assessments can be used in compelling marketing materials.

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Bio: Armand has served as the Director of Campus Recreation since joining RMU in 2009. He holds a bachelor of arts from Washington & Jefferson College, and an M.B.A. in Management, M.S. in Data Analytics, and Ph.D. in Instructional Management and Leadership from Robert Morris University. Armand oversees the daily functions of the campus recreation department including the club sports program, intramural sports, fitness programs, and facility management

  • John Cash and Dr. BerNadette Lawson-Williams (Johnson C. Smith University/Cxmmunity) - Esports Education and Careers: Curriculum, Diversity, Inclusion and Investment at the University Level

Description: This session will address the education and business inequality in the esports/gaming industry and what is being done about it.

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Bio: Dr. Lawson-Williams is a woman of many talents and interests. A proud Mommy-scholar, she is a tenured Full Professor of Sport Management at Johnson C. Smith University, a private Historically Black College and University (HBCU) located in Charlotte, NC. Among her most notable accomplishments at JCSU, Dr. Lawson-Williams developed and implemented its fully online Sport Management program and Esports and Gaming Trifecta, both of which are the first at an HBCU. As Founder/Advisor of JCSU’s Esports and Gaming Trifecta, Dr. Lawson-Williams manages the Esports and Gaming Management academic/Certificate program, designed and coordinates the Esports Lab, serves as the Advisor for the Game Development Club, and serves as the Coach/Advisor for Esports Club. JCSU’s Esports and Gaming Trifecta has been recognized as the blueprint for CIAA/HBCU Esports through its feature in numerous publications such as: the Washington Post, ESPN’s Undefeated, EdTech Magazine, and Diverse Issues in Higher Education, among others

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Bio: In January 2020 John Cash developed and taught the first Historically Black College and University (HBCU) esports/gaming program at Johnson C. Smith University. He also supported the esports and gamification club and completed the esports lab thus realizing an esports “Trifecta”. In addition to being an Adjunct Professor he owns The Narmer Group, LLC, a full-service strategic marketing, and social impact agency. John is a United States Air Force Veteran Officer, MBA-educated Fortune 50 marketer, and sports/entertainment agency executive. His executive career includes working at Learfield/IMG Collegiate Sports, Bank of America, and Coca-Cola. John received his MBA from the University of Texas, MS from Webster University and BBA from Howard University. A Washington, D.C. native, John is husband to Robin and father to Alaina. He is avid about the convergence of sports, entertainment, and society. His latest and greatest service has been being a caregiver for his elderly

  • Kurt Melcher (Intersport Global) - The State of Collegiate Esports

Description: This session will look at the current state of Collegiate esports and dig into the formal program data, how the esports campus is evolving, product adoption and behavioral economics. Kurt will also make the case for competitive esports and the benefits for colleges as well as look at the existing challenges. This session is a great opportunity to bring you up to speed on the latest data and developments of competitive esports.


Bio: Kurt Melcher is the Executive Director, Gaming and Esports at Intersport.  Through his efforts, RMU became the first university to recognize esports as part of the athletic department and offer athletic scholarships to gamers, helping to legitimize the world of collegiate esports. An athletic administrator for 15 years, Melcher recognized the core educational elements involved in traditional sports and believes the same hold true for esports.  Recently the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) has selected Kurt Melcher led Intersport Esports group to lead the research and ideation surrounding NCAA’s potential involvement in collegiate esports.  The “Godfather” of University Esports visionary program has been highlighted in a number of prominent news sources including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Time magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine, ESPN, NPR, HBO Real Sports and in the documentary film All Work All Play.

  • Andrew Peterson (Ferris State University) New Media: The Esports Engine 

Description: In this session we will look at esports as motivational tool for students seeking some traditional academic curriculum.  Ferris State University has developed a 4-year Esports Curriculum that highlights content areas in Information Security, Event Management, Sports Communication, Game Design, and Player Psychology.  We will talk about the logic behind these pairings, the challenges we’ve faced, and showcase the final product.


Bio: Andrew Peterson has focused on Game-Based Learning for most of his academic life.  He is an instructor for the Digital Animation & Game Design program at Ferris State University.  He is also the coordinator for the Game-Based Learning Institute in the eLearning Department at Ferris.  There, he helps faculty introduce Game-Based Learning and Gamification to their traditional pedagogy.  This has brought him to the realm of esports, from both a student engagement (club) and curriculum (degree) standpoint.  He has recently defended his doctorate in community college leadership where he created a board game to help increase student success and retention.  It is his hope that giving students a safe opportunity to fail at college will transfer into meaningful conversation about what it takes to succeed.

  • Dr. Joey Gawrysiak (Shenandoah University) - Esports As a Major: How to Make It Work

Description: This session will cover some of the key elements to set up an esports major or other type of academic program. The uniqueness of esports as an area of study will also be discussed. This is intended to help people understand how esports is currently being set up as an academic program at institutions of higher education and some tips for developing effective esports curriculum to meet student and industry demand.

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Bio: Dr. Joey Gawrysiak is the Director of Esports and an Associate Professor of Esports at Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA. He received his Ph.D. in Sport Management and Policy from the University of Georgia in 2012. A former competitive gamer in college, Dr. G started the esports competitive program in 2018 at Shenandoah University. He wrote one of the first esports curricula in the world with academic programs and certifications for esports at the undergraduate and graduate level. In 2019, Gawrysiak co-founded GHS Esports Solutions LLC to consult professional and academic entities on a variety of esports implementation strategies. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Collegiate Esports as well as the Advisory Board for the World-Wide Scholastic Esports Federation. Gawrysiak has written several articles and book chapters on esports as well as providing professional development for students working in event management, broadcast production, and social media marketing.

  • Dr. Katrina Adkins (SHI International) - The Who's, What's and Why's of Esports

Description: Esports has burst onto the education scene in the last few years, creating thousands of K-12 and higher education esports teams/leagues/programs, and welcoming over 200 colleges and universities to the competitive esports scene. Come learn what all the hype is about and leave feeling energized and equipped with resources.

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Bio: Dr. Katrina Adkins has been in education for 20 years. She has taught Kindergarten, 1st and 3rd Grade, 6th through 12th Grade computer science, as well as college. Katrina’s strong desire to integrate technology into her classroom resulted in a Masters in Instructional Technology and a Doctorate in Instructional Technology & Distance Education. She spent 7 years in administration as a Director of Technology as well as a Technology Coach. Dr. Adkins has been featured at conferences and schools across the world and has authored dozens of educational technology whitepapers, books, journal articles, and blog posts.  Her professional passions include Leadership, Esports, Space Design, Coding and Computer Science, E-Parenting, and Student Voice. Personally, Katrina has two teenagers who keep her up to date on the challenges of living in a technologically advanced world.

  • Joshua Kell (Horizon AVL and Esports Integration) - How to Scale an Esports Program that Captures Students’ Love for Gaming

Description: Esports has become a hit with students and educators alike as the benefits expand to include digital citizenship, team-building, positive social development, and places of inclusion. Scaling esports programs requires not just student interest, but also an administrator’s vision, stakeholder buy-in, and academic and cybersecurity policies. Attend this workshop to hear how Joshua Kell, CEO of Esports Integration, is developing roadmaps for K-12 to adopt new technologies and gained support for gaming. Attendees will also learn tips on how to standardize equipment and implement an esports curriculum as part of a CTE pathway.

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Bio: Joshua serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Esports Integration and Horizon AVL System Integration. Joshua designed countless large venue and arena systems, video broadcast studios, and projection / LED wall video displays with precision and expertise. His vast experiences span 15 years in the industry. Joshua’s notable work was mentioned or featured in: ProSound News Magazine, Front of House Magazine (FOH), and Worship AVL Magazine, Projection Lights and Stage News, and Commercial Integrator. Joshua leads Horizon AVL System Integration with industry rewards and recognition such as earning Contractor of the Year and Commercial Top Partner with Presonus. Joshua is part of the 40 under 40 industry influencers for Commercial Integrator for his role in esports for education. He was also recognized by NSCA as business partner of the year for his differentiating strategies for esports in the audio visual industry. Joshua is the education ambassador for Acer America and the esports program. He was featured in an education piece in USA Today as he leads the charge with esports and the development of the industry.

  • Dr. Kristy Custer, Michael Russell and Bubba Gaeddert (Maize High School) - Gaming Concepts: Semester-Long, Implementation-Ready Curriculum Approved for Credit

Description: Esports has exploded in high schools and colleges around the world. Improvements in engagement and attendance resulting in decreases in chronic absenteeism and behavior issues are just some of the reasons why schools are adding esports to their educational toolboxes. In this session, participants will learn how Complete High School Maize, in Maize, Kansas, turned one teacher's passion project into an esports program complete with an afterschool esports team, a for-credit esports class and the addition of a gaming lab. Participants will also receive a free electronic version of the complete esports curriculum written by the presenters — Gaming Concepts — that has been viewed over 200,000 times on the Microsoft Educator Community.


Bio: Dr. Kristy Custer:  Dr. Custer is the principal at Complete High School Maize.  Over the past 21 years, she has helped lead the CHSM team to state and national honors including a Crystal Star Award for Dropout Prevention schools, Promising Practice Award, and twice being named a National School of Character.  Along the way, she earned her Doctorate in Educational Leadership and was awarded the Graduate Student of the Year from Kansas State University and Baker University. The curriculum she cowrote titled Gaming Concepts has been viewed over 200,000 times on the Microsoft Educator Community in over 40 countries.  She has been a speaker at local, state and national conferences including ISTE, FETC, the National Dropout Prevention Network Conference, National Scholastic Press Association Convention, and Kansas State Department of Education Annual Conference.  Her project, 186 Days of Character--a year-long character education curriculum--was has also been shared and implemented by 100s of educators.

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Bio: Michael Russell: Michael has been an avid gamer for nearly 35 years. After a successful career in sales, Michael entered the field of education as a social studies teacher at Complete High School Maize in 2014. After his first year of teaching, Michael was awarded the Horizon Award for Kansas in 2015.  This award is given to first-year teachers to recognize excellence in the classroom. In 2018, Michael also received the “Making IT Happen Award” at the Mid-America Association for Computers in Education Conference for his work developing and implementing a video game curriculum in the classroom. Michael has been a speaker at the Global ESports Clinic, The Mid-America Association for Computers in Education Conference, ISTE, FETC, and numerous online conferences.  In 2018, Michael completed his Master’s Degree in Building Administration from Fort Hays State University and is currently pursuing his Doctoral Degree in District Leadership from Baker University.


Bio: Bubba Gaeddert:  Bubba currently is the Executive Director of the Varsity Esports Foundation (VEF), as well as an adjunct professor in higher-ed since 2013. The VEF is a non-profit that strives to increase literacy around esports and how to be proactive with such initiatives as healthy lifestyles, curriculum, mental health, diversity and inclusion, toxicity, addictions, suicide prevention, internet safety, and belonging through STEM education and digital citizenship. Bubba has worked in the non-profit and traditional sports industry for 20 years with the YMCA, NCAA, NAIA, Parks and Recs, Sports Commissions, and the Chamber of Commerce. He has been a gamer and self-proclaimed NERD ever since he was a kid when his dad managed Radio Shacks in Oklahoma. Back in 2017, he dove deep into the esports industry through streaming and marketing, then realizing that students in disenfranchised low-income areas did not have the same access as students in the suburbs, so he partnered with many esports organizations to create this foundation. He now works to educate businesses, organizations, and schools about being proactive around the foundation's initiatives and providing a pathway to provide STEM education through gaming and esports clubs in schools.

  • Justin Bragg (Illinois College) - Recruiting, Coaching and Leading Your Team

Description: This session will be designed to go over where to find recruits, some coaching strategies you can implement with your team, where you can find inspiration to add coaching strategies to your arsenal and how a leadership structure should look like in a successful esports program.

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Bio: Justin Bragg is currently the head coach at Purdue University Northwest and has been in this role since April of 2020.  Before his time at PNW, he served as the head coach at Illinois College from 2017-2020.  Accomplishments in his time at both schools include a 9-2 record in a shortened 2019 College League of Legends season at Illinois College, a perfect 3-0 start to the College League of Legends season this year with PNW and serving on the advisory committee for the National Association of Esports Coaches and Directors.  Justin's background in esports is as a League of Legends player.  He played in the challenger series for team Inertia for 1 split before transitioning to 1 on 1 coaching and eventually college coaching.  He has been a challenger player for 5 different seasons. Justin is a native of the Chicagoland area and graduated from the University of Illinois in 2014 with a degree in Recreation, Sport and Tourism.

  • Nate Meeker (University of Akron) - Esports Opportunities and Connections at the University Level

Description: In this session we will take a deep dive on some of the opportunities that can be created for students that engage with esports programs at the university level and how those connections can help translate into real world job skills. In addition, details on creating those types of opportunities will be discussed from both the student and the program standpoint.

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Bio: Nate is an experienced curriculum developer in higher education with a background being a lecturer and assistant professor in graduate universities in Asia. On the gaming side of things, he has competed at a high level in both Counter Strike and Hearthstone. Nate did his undergraduate work at Akron in Secondary Education and his M. ED work at The University of Southern California with a focus in Linguistics.

  • Courtney James (DePaul University) - Assessment for Collegiate Esports Programs

Description: As colleges and universities design, maintain, or advance their programs, it is essential that university administrators integrate assessment to continue to evaluate and progress their program. This presentation will contain three core components. First, attendees will learn recommendations for assessment depending on the level of development of their program. Second, the presenter will provide examples of assessment completed by DePaul University as they work to develop the program. To conclude the session, attendees will view effective examples of data sharing from DePaul.

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Bio: Courtney James currently serves as the director of Student Involvement & Esports at DePaul University. In her role, she supervises student organizations, campus activities, fraternity & sorority life, and Esports. With DePaul’s Esports program launching in 2018, she serves as the lead staff member overseeing student experiences- including competitive and recreational components. She is currently on the EGF Board of Governors, and has previously served as the co-chair to the National Association of Campus Activities & NIRSA Joint Task Force on Esports. Additionally, she serves on numerous nation-wide Esports working groups and educational advisory committees. Previous honors include the 2018 DePaul University Innovation Award, 2017 DePaul University Division of Student Affairs Collaboration Award, 2015 NACA Legacy Award, and the 2013 University of Central Oklahoma Advisor of the Year. Courtney completed her bachelor's degree at Augustana College (IL) and her master's degree at Western Illinois University

  • Dr. David Hanan (University of Central Oklahoma) - Esports Management: The Popular Major and How It's Transforming Schools

Description: The emerging esports management degree program on college campuses is creating a new campus community and gives students a connection to their institutions they might not otherwise have found.  The addition of esports curriculum is impacting the college campus as it is accentuating such areas as recruitment, retention, and research.  Rather than sit in lectures, students are receiving transformative learning experiences by planning and executing small- and large-scale events by utilizing the latest in streaming technology.  Additionally, students are developing business plans on how to 1) acquire and manage teams, 2) create online communities, and 3) promote events through digital technology.


Bio: Dr. David Hanan serves as the Vice President of Operations at Equinox Esports in Oklahoma City where he manages all the day-to-day operations, facilitates leadership development within the company, and implements policies for process improvement. Equinox Esports is home of a top team North American VALORANT team and its mission is to cultivate esports athletes, produce quality content and elevate Oklahoma City through esports. Dr. Hanan received a Bachelor’s degree in music education from Missouri Western State University, a Master’s degree from the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri in Kansas City, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Education degree from the University of Oklahoma.  Dr. Hanan is extremely active in the Esports ecosystem. Additionally, Dr. Hanan serves as an advisory board member for the National Association of Esports Coaches and Directors.

  • Avis Williams (Selma City Schools) - Aim for Excellence: Equity in High Poverty Schools Through Esports

Bio: Dr. Avis Williams is the superintendent of Historic Selma City Schools. A native of Salisbury, NC, she has served in leadership positions in the U.S. Army, as an entrepreneur and school administrator. She received her undergraduate degree from Athens State University, master’s from Alabama A&M and Jacksonville State Universities, education specialist degree and her doctorate from the University of Alabama. She taught English and Physical Education and coached dance team and track. Dr. Williams has been an elementary, middle and high school principal. She was the executive director of curriculum and instruction in North Carolina where she led instruction for over 60 schools. Before moving to Selma, she served as the assistant superintendent for curriculum in Tuscaloosa City Schools.

  • Josh Knutson (Bytespeed) - Virtual Reality and Esports: Next Steps in Tech and Software

Description: In this session Josh will talk about the current state of Virtual Reality and how it is beginning to play a part in the esports world. He will cover what current hardware is available today, touch on the current competitive outlets for virtual reality in college and professional spaces, and share how you can get started with a VR team at your school.


Bio: Josh Knutson is the Esports and VR Solutions Director for Bytespeed, LLC – a Moorhead, MN based IT Solutions Company. Josh got his start in esports back in 2016 when he started the varsity level program at the University of Jamestown (ND) and served as its first Head Coach and Program Director for the next 3.5 years. In his current role with Bytespeed, Josh serves as a resource, product specialist, and guide for customers looking to bring esports or virtual reality into their schools. Josh has been involved with NAECAD since its initial launch, and is currently an Advisory Board Member for the Association. Born and raised in rural North Dakota, Josh currently lives in Fargo.

  • Michal Lowigus (GGPredict) - Assigning Players to Roles on a Team: How to Build Winning Synergies

Description: Based on various case studies from CS:GO and LoL top tier teams we are going to present how teams misjudged and misunderstood the potential of their players taking into account wrong data. We will take a closer look on what does it take to create a winning synergy and how to grow the potential in your players.

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Bio: Michal is the CEO and co-founder of GGPredict. Before funding GGP, he worked in Cloud Technologies - a big data company, where he met the other co-founder while playing Counter-Strike. We decided create the company with the purpose of providing Counter-Strike players a solution that on one hand will be able to perfectly analyze their performance and on the other, propose them a tailor-made training plan, that responds to their needs and weaknesses. Michal is a data scientist and a passionate gamer, mostly playing League of Legends. He is also a Ph.D. candidate in the field of game theory at the Warsaw School of Economics. In his free time he likes to cook, play basketball, and read about data science.

  • Dr. Hallie Zwibel (Center for Esports Medicine, NYIT) - Esports Medicine: Clinical Research Findings in Esport Athletes and Implication

Description: Traditional sports medicine has a long history of research related to the best practices needed to keep players healthy and protected from injuries. But when the New York Institute of Technology launched an esports program, Dr. Hallie Zwibel, the university’s athletic doctor, realized there was very little research about how to protect esports players from physical and mental injuries. His team began surveying players and esports squads at colleges across the country and found that many players were not following simple healthy guidelines such as regular movement, adequate hydration, and good sleep habits. They discovered that the sedentary nature of playing esports resulted in obesity (two thirds of esports players are obese), as well as back and neck pain, shoulder and wrist pain, and eye fatigue. In this keynote, Dr. Zwibel will present tips and best practices to help players and coaches better understand how to minimize the physical (and mental) injuries that can result from esports.

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Bio: Hallie Zwibel is board certified in family practice and has been recognized by the American Osteopathic Association as a “Guardian of the Profession”. Zwibel earned his bachelor's degree from Binghamton University in 2007. He received his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2011 and completed his residency in family practice at Plainview Hospital in 2014. During his residency, Zwibel additionally participated in the Training in Policy Studies and Physician Leadership Institute fellowships. In 2018, he went on to complete his Masters of Public Health from SUNY Albany. Currently Zwibel is the director of the NYIT Centers for Sports and Esports Medicine. Zwibel has published articles on the health and injury concerns of esports athletes and recently coauthored a health management model for this population. Zwibel regularly speaks at national and local conferences on sports medicine topics.

  • Cody Daniels, Erich Bao, Kevin O’Brien and Mike Wisinois (NGame Esports and GGLeagues) - Community Engagement and Developing a Collegiate Ecosystem

Description: NGame Esports is a media company providing content and data to companies that focus on esports and gaming. The purpose is to promote the industry and the people that engage in it. GGLeagues was founded in 2018 with the simple idea that all gamers should get an opportunity to compete at the games that they love. Whether you are looking to go pro, play varsity or just have a good time competing, you have to start your journey somewhere and we built GGLeagues to be that start.


Bio: Cody Daniels:  Cody graduated from Texas A&M University in 2013 with a degree in sports management. Cody started in NGame Esports in May 2019 with the focus in providing content and analytics to a diverse group of organization in gaming and esports. Cody has used his background in retail and sports to help lead all aspects at NGame Esports. NGame Esports is located in Houston, TX.


Bio: Erich Bao: Erich is a lifelong gamer whose passion is to give every gamer the ability to compete in structured esports. He is the founder and CEO of GGLeagues and they are working to bring this vision to life. He has an MBA from the University of Chicago and plays Dota 2, Starcraft 2, and Apex Legends in his spare time.

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Bio: Kevin O’Brien:  While getting a finance degree at DePaul University’s Driehaus College of Business, Kevin O’Brien, COO and Co-Founder of GGLeagues, fell in love with the esports industry. He was the founder of DePaul Esports Student Leadership Board and one of the founding board members for the Esports Trade Association. Kevin enjoys researching and student trends in the gaming and esports industry. In his free time, he likes to explore Chicago listen to music, and hang out with his cats. Kevin spent eight years working as a chef and is excited to use his background to spice thing up in the esport and gaming industry.


Bio: Michael Wisnios has been a part of collegiate esports since 2013, starting at Northern Illinois University's Esports Club as a coach and constitutional writer. After graduation, he started working at Robert Morris University as the Executive Director of Esports. Michael has spoken at several events: Brainstorm's Education and Technology Conference, Esports Trade Association, Charley Steiner Symposium at Bradley University, EXPLO's Yale Summer Program, Chicago Wolves Esports Night, Illinois Computing Educators Conference, and the College Esports Expo Conference on several topics within the esports industry. He provides advice and assistance to collegiate programs and students in his spare time.

  • Mike Dahle (Wiscosin High School Esports Association) - Building a Successful High School or College Program

Description: As a connected community of 12 state run associations, we have all been working on creating similar onboarding processes for new schools to join our competitions. We have all shared resources and documentation to create this roadmap to starting and building your esports programs. This approach can be applied to middle school, high school, and college.

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Bio: Shortly into his teaching career, a student gave a presentation on the League of Legends World Championships and because of that presentation Mike’s life has snowballed into esports. As a lifelong gamer, he was fascinated with how much esports had grown since he first heard of it and decided he wanted to be a part of it. Mike’s school started competing in the Star League and was invited to a LAN tournament at Robert Morris University. This is where the idea of creating a statewide association began. It started the following year with 7 schools and in 4 years has grown to 100+ schools competing across the state. The Wisconsin High School Esports Association, which Mike serves as President, has helped onboard most schools in our state, helped other states develop associations, and been considered for collegiate director positions across the Midwest.

  • Joshua Pann (HP Inc.) - Outfitting Your Program: Startup Needs, Working With Vendors and Bundlers

Description: This session will cover all aspects of the technology needed to equip a college or K-12 esports program. You’ll explore the types of gaming stations available, network switches, arena layouts, as well as gaming desks, chairs, and peripherals that enhance the level of play for the esports athlete and team. In addition, you’ll learn how to design a practice and competition space that can easily expand as the K-12’s esports program grows, what games to play, how to purchase them, and what support is needed.

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Bio: Josh is the Education Esports Specialist for HP Inc. Since joining HP Inc., Josh has led the charge into collegiate and K-12 esports. An avid lifelong gamer and hobbyist PC builder since the early days of Warcraft and Pentiums, he holds undergraduate degrees in economics and international relations from University of California, Davis and a Master of Arts in teaching from Relay Graduate School of Education in New York. Josh combines his experience as an educator with his knowledge of esports to help universities support new vibrant student communities on campus.

  • Nick Rider and and Alene Vandermyde (Esports Ohio/Davenport Central High School) - Creating and Establishing a State Esports Association

Description: Learn from the journey that two states (OH & IA) have embarked upon to bring scholastic and competitive esports opportunities to all students in their states.  We will look at the process that lead us to today, and the many stumbling points that we faced along the way.  We will discuss organization structure, rules, seasons, games, partnerships, funding, growth, and so much more.  Bring your tough questions as we are hoping to create a nice dialogue at the end of our session in the hopes that more grassroots esports opportunities will spread across the country for all students.

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Bio: Nick Rider:  Nick Rider is the Founder and President of the educational non-profit, Esports Ohio, which specializes in the organization, oversight, and competition structure of scholastic esports at the middle and high school levels.  Nick is also the Director of Technology for the Carey Exempted Village School, adjunct professor and designer of the esports management and coaching certificate program at Rhodes State College, the Carey High School Esports Coach, and a high school educator.


Bio: Alene Vandermyde: Alli is currently the Technology Innovator (Coach) and Esports Coordinator at Davenport Central High School. Prior to this, she was a Physics teacher and continues being a FIRST Tech Challenge Coach of two teams (Outlaws and Central Processing Units). With close to two years experience organizing esports, she sent the first email to start the Iowa High School Esports Association in the Spring of 2019, having officially launched its inaugural season this spring. With a total of 52 students on the Central High School Fall Esports roster, she has made organization her mantra – and fundraising a personal mission. Currently supporting Overwatch, Smash Brothers: Ultimate, an internal Bedwars Server, Rainbow 6 Seige, Rocket League, and League of Legends, Davenport Central High School has become a community where every student can find their place.

  • Kent Schornack (Grand View University) - Esports and Mental Health: The Well-Being of Student-Athletes

Description: The focus of this season is to explore potential mental health concerns associated with competitive esports and the protective factors that undergird one’s emotional well-being.  The fast-growing realm of high school and collegiate esports presents college administrators and esports coaches a unique opportunity, and responsibility, to support the well-being and growth of their players.  Understanding the mental health implications of the sport is a key aspect in fostering student develop and helping gaming athletes to achieve their personal best.


Bio: Kent Schornack is the Director of Leadership & Counseling at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa.  He also maintains a small private counseling practice, and provides leadership education and consultation to various constituents.  Kent is a Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW) with over thirty years of experience.  He is also a certified facilitator for Everything DISC and Five Behaviors of Cohesive Teams trainings and assessment.  Kent deeply believes that relationships provide the most significant understanding of who we are and how we grow, and he uses this lens in addressing the role of collegiate esports and mental health.

  • Ellen Davis (Hy-Vee) - Nutrition and Gaming: Top Six Tips to Enhance Health and Performance

Description: Just like a sports car relies upon the highest quality fuel and consistent maintenance, high quality performance relies on high quality nutrition and attention to recovery.  This session will focus on 6 nutrition tips to enhance health and performance outcomes.  Afterwards be able to identify at least 3 nutrients that may improve performance while enhancing reaction time, and develop practical strategies for benefitting athletes’ overall long-term health status.

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Bio: Ellen Davis is a registered dietitian and board-certified specialist in sports dietetics (CSSD).  Working closely with high school and collegiate athletes, coaching staffs, and administrative personnel on a daily basis. Ellen has been able to collaborate with those wanting to use food as fuel to enhance performance and recovery.  As a former division I track and cross-country athlete, Ellen experienced a fair amount of injury, illness, and setbacks throughout training and competition.  It was a sound nutrition plan that helped her turn the corner and get the most out of her athletic career.  Now as a trusted expert in performance nutrition, Ellen strives to help her athletes avoid making the same mistakes she made with fueling.  Ellen is passionate about real food and the beneficial impact food and nutrition can make on all aspects and experiences of life.

Shawn Canady and Brain Hartman (Lebanon School District) - Developing a Custom Esports Facility

Description: Participant will be guided through the steps taken by the Lebanon School District to create a custom esports facility.  A look at the history, goals, politics and infrastructure of the project will be discussed.   Reviewing this session will assist participant in undertaking steps at your home facility to modify or upgrade your current facility.

Bio: Shawn Canady: Shawn is the Chief Information Officer of the Lebanon School District. He is passionate about leveraging technology to create enhanced learning opportunities for economically disadvantaged students. Shawn was tasked by the superintendent to implement an esports program at the Lebanon School District. By partnering with the Emerald Foundation, the LSD was able to design and construct a superior Esports Arena, which offers students the ability to compete from a facility Shawn hopes will serve as a model for other districts throughout the state. Shawn has an extensive background in Technology Education. He worked as a Technology Education Teacher and Instructional Technology Coach prior to moving into his leadership roles at the Lebanon School District. He is also an adjunct professor in the Learning Technologies (LTMS) program at Harrisburg University, specializing in Media Design. Shawn holds a BS in Industrial Arts / Technology Education from Millersville University, An MS from Penn State University in Instructional Systems Design, and an Educational Leadership Certificate from Johns Hopkins University.

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Bio: Brian Hartman: Brian is the Director of Buildings and Grounds of the Lebanon School District.  He is passionate about maintaining facilities to provide the best possible learning opportunities for economically disadvantaged students.

  • Jason Dilley (Sedro-Woolley School District) - Buyer Beware: An Educator's Guide to Responsible Spending in Esports

Description: With the esports industry in high school and college still largely untested, program startups are often given small budgets and expected to do big things with it. This session’s primary focus will be on the importance of responsible spending, where to look for money outside of your school (in the form of grants), the types of items/services you will need to buy to start an esports team, and where to funnel that money for the best outcomes. The focus of this session is primarily for grades 6-12, but lessons learned can be applied in virtually any location.


Bio: Jason Dilley is a 12th year National Board Certified Teacher. Most of his career has been spent teaching Mathematics, but after developing an esports team in 2017, has been slowing moving his teaching time into CTE classes for Esports and Broadcasting. In 2020, Jason created the Washington State Scholastic Esports Association with a team of teachers to organize high school and middle school esports in WA state.

  • Hubert Ham (Esports EDU Lab & Alexander Dawson School) - Supporting Schools to Develop Curriculum, Clubs, and Competitive Teams

Description: This session will look at how to successfully launch and run a competitive esports program by leveraging the three C’s of Curriculum, clubs, and competition. Hubert will share his experiences and expertise as the executive director of Esports EDU Lab, a community outreach program developed with the support of the University of Nevada. The program works to create resources and provide support for under-resourced public schools interested in esports and game-based learning.

Bio: Hubert Ham currently serves as director of innovation at The Alexander Dawson School in Las Vegas, Nevada. Having worked in K-12 public school districts and independent schools, he works to push the boundaries of educational experiences. Concurrently, he serves as executive director of Esports EDU Lab, a community outreach program developed with the support of the University of Nevada. The program works to create resources and provide support for under-resourced public schools interested in esports and game-based learning.

  • Kevin Calderin (Washingtonville Central School District) - Understanding the Metagame: How Esports Trends Shape Competitive Play

Description: While players and influencers are doing a dance with technique and data, game makers are tweaking code to invalidate stale strategies, balance mechanics, and keep players interested and engaged. What results is a fascinating but puzzling game play happening outside of the games themselves, one that ultimately defines the parameters for what high-level play looks like. Drawing on metagame examples in Super Smash Bros. and Hearthstone, Kevin will explore what emerging scholastic esports programs need to consider in their game offerings and strategic planning, and how existing programs can build robust game knowledge and a shared vocabulary among their district stakeholders. Academic Esports will soon have an undeniable impact on how certain game titles are designed, developed, and played.

Bio: Kevin Calderin is a veteran teacher, father, and lifelong gamer who has incorporated game-based learning into ELA instruction and developed New Media electives to support digital literacy. He started WHS Wizards Esports in 2013, growing what was an enthusiastic but modest social club into a competitive multi-team varsity endeavor, coaching players to the national finals in the High School Esports League and most recently to the NY State Championships in PlayVS.

  • Matthew Benson and Patrick Klein (eFuse) - From Passion to Profession: Helping Your Students Build Their Professional Gaming Portfolio

Description: Co-founder & CEO Matthew Benson and Chief Strategy Officer Patrick Klein discuss the importance of building a professional gaming portfolio.  With the unlimited professional and competitive pathways that exist in the gaming industry this session will look at avenues to bring opportunities together for scholastic and collegiate students.  From internships to jobs, your portfolio could unlock taking your passion to a profession!

Bio: Matthew Benson: Matthew is the founder and CEO of eFuse, a professional social network for esports and video games.  eFuse acts as the central hub for esports and video game collaborations in all areas, including player talent recruitment, traditional job placement, and the sourcing of sponsorship deals.

Bio: Patrick Klein, Chief Strategy Officer at eFuse, focusing his attention on building strategic partnerships across the globe. Since joining eFuse in October 2020, he has assisted in the creation of the GTM strategy and the release of the #ForTheGamers campaign. Prior to eFuse, Klein spent 13 years in the collegiate athletic space as an assistant basketball coach.

  • Christopher Turner (Southern Lab) - Coach, Brand, and Market your Esports Program

Description: As a sponsor and adviser, Turner says that the esports program not only engages students in something they’ve been doing for fun, but teaches them teamwork and strategy, as well as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) skills, computer codes and game development – exposure that he says can lead to so many other opportunities for them. Through esports it is possible to change the way educators view esports, increase cross-curriculum instruction, and become a better asset to all education professionals.  This session will cover a multitude of areas to coach, brand, and market your esports program.

Bio: Christopher Turner, a nationally recognized visual and graphic artist, decided that with his years of expertise in teaching and design that it was time to make a paradigm shift in educational advancements. Turner had more in mind for K-12 and collegiate students than the traditional arts curriculum. In seeking a way to harness that energy into a productive school activity, he discovered the High School Esports League, a national group which has transformed high school gaming into an organized event in which student participants can win scholarship money. He founded an Esports club at a K-12 school to give participants the training and experience that would allow them to excel in the emerging and highly lucrative field of professional competitive gaming. Equally, he wanted to provide an outlet to relieve stress through gaming and form teams that could potentially earn money for college through their skills. The original esports team Turner developed consists of around 45 students, thirteen of whom compete with some 2,100 teams nationwide, as well as other local high school teams. With the solid support of principal Herman Brister, Esports enjoys full recognition on the SU Lab campus as an official sports team in an educational setting, competing in the High School Esports League (HSEL), where it has enjoyed impressive recent success. Now Christopher prides himself in being a prominent esports consultant and professional development facilitator.

  • Scott Dorn and Ben Rassier (Spectrum Industries) - Considerations When Planning an Esports Environment

Bio: Scott Dorn, Executive Vice President and Ben Rassier, Territory Manager of Spectrum Industries  Spectrum has worked with educators, influencers, global IT and AV integrators and the A&D community to better equip educational environments. They are taking that knowledge and helping esports leaders and influencers apply it to their space. Spectrum has become an advocate for scholar gaming, developing an Esports Guidebook to help provide a general overview on the category and assist in connecting to others in the industry. They have also developed an Esports Ideabook, a 60-page resource to help spark ideas when setting up your esports space(s). Spectrum is a manufacturer of educational furniture & OEM solutions that complement and support classroom and mobile audio-visual, IT and esports initiatives.

  • Laylah Bulman and Jorrel Batac (NASEF) - Creating a Network of Esports Educators
  • Dr. Jay Prescott and Dr. Jason Bauer (NAECAD/Grand View University) - The Benefits of Joining an Esports Association


The clinic will begin at 9:30 a.m. (CST) each day and end at 4:30 p.m. (CST) each day.

Click here to view the schedule

All sessions will be recorded and clinic attendees will have the opportunity to access every session on the NAECAD-CP platform after the clinic is over.

Questions about the 4th Annual NAECAD Coaches and Directors Clinic can be sent to contactus@naecad.org

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