An international leader in high school and youth football development, Scott Hallenbeck, will visit the West Virginia University campus to discuss coaching education, concussion recognition and player skill advancement. This year’s series is co-sponsored by the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences and the Athletic Department.

Hallenbeck will offer the free public lecture on Wednesday, April 16, from 7-8 p.m. at Touchdown Terrace in Milan Puskar Stadium, Morgantown. The presentation is titled “USA Football and Healthy Youth Sport Development.”

Hallenbeck has led USA Football, the sport’s national governing body in the United States, since 2005. He oversees all aspects of the organization, including football development, digital media, communications, corporate partnerships and membership programs.

“Over the past few years USA Football has come to the forefront of youth sport as a leader in providing sport safety programs and training materials for coaches, athletes, parents and administrators,” explains Kristen Dieffenbach, assistant professor, athletic coaching education, WVU CPASS.

“We are really excited to have the CEO of USAF visit our community to talk about long term athlete development and safety in youth sports to help young athletes reach both their peak potential and stay healthy and active for life,” Dieffenbach adds.

Hallenbeck directed the creation and implementation of USA Football’s Heads Up Football program in 2012. According to the group, Heads Up has established a “better, safer game” through important standards rooted in education across youth and high school levels.

More than 25 percent of the U.S. youth football community registered for Heads Up Football in 2013, as noted on the USA Football website. The program encompasses USA Football’s nationally accredited coach certification course, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concussion recognition and response, heat and hydration protocols, equipment fitting instruction and fundamentally sound tackling techniques.

Under Hallenbeck’s leadership, USA Football has established itself as the leader in high school and youth football coach education and player skill advancement, collaborating with experts in medicine, child advocacy and leaders spanning multiple levels of the sport. USA Football also authors and commissions national-scope research studies to analyze and strengthen the sport’s level of safety for the benefit of youth players.

The Don Nehlen Lecture Series was established in 2001 following Nehlen’s retirement as West Virginia University’s head football coach. Nehlen served as head coach for 21 years. Past speakers have included Jerry West, former NBA great, executive and Mountaineer legend; former Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler; Jim Boeheim, the current men’s basketball head coach at Syracuse and John Cooper, former head football coach at The Ohio State University.

Nehlen was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004. For more information on the event, contact Kristen Dieffenbach,



CONTACT: Kimberly Cameon, College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences

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