Annual Leadership Conference

Conference E Brochure

Every June, coaches and administrators from sports organizations across the United States and around the world come to Notre Dame for the Play Like a Champion Today National Sports Leadership Conference.


The 2016 Leadership Conference "Coaching Tomorrow's Leaders Today" will be held June 24-25, 2016 at the University of Notre Dame.  A pre-conference retreat on sport and spirituality will be held on Thursday, June 23rd. 

The conference offers professional development for coaches, athletics administrators, sports parents, and officials at the youth, high school, and collegiate levels, with a special emphasis on developing the whole person through sports. It is a wonderful opportunity to network, share best practices, and hear what other like-minded coaches and administrators are doing to improve youth and high school sports across America. 

Featured speakers include famous coaching experts, medical and mental health professionals, and moral and spiritual leaders, as well as Notre Dame coaches and faculty addressing the power of sport. The Leadership Conference also provides an in-depth introduction to Play Like a Champion for those who want to apply the approach to their organization and for those who would like to become Certified Trainers in the Play Like a Champion program. To download a copy of the Conference Guide, click the image above.

"This is a must for coaches and administrators in everything from youth sports to collegiate athletics. It is a must for those that want to improve themselves, their programs, and the lives of children. Thank you."    --New Brunswick, Ontario Partner 2015



The weekend conference provides participants with:

Mastery of Play Like a Champion Today coaching philosophy and materials.

A comprehensive “game plan” for elevating the climate of youth sport in schools and organizations.

The knowledge and resources to lead Play Like a Champion Today Workshops for coaches and parents in schools and community settings.

Membership in a network of ethically minded sports leaders.

The conference includes dinner at the Naimoli Pavilion and Monogram Room, and tours of some of  Notre Dame's premier facilities. 

An optional spiritual retreat before the conference.

An optional mass at Notre Dame's Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

For full conference details, please click here.


This year's conference will be held on June 24-25, 2016 at the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame. 

The conference will begin at 9 am on Friday and Saturday, and dinner will conclude at approximately 9 pm.

If you are unable to make the trip to Indiana this year, but would still like to attend the conference, please click here to learn more about online viewing options. 

The 2016 Conference Will Feature Presentations By:


  • Dr. Dinamarie Garcia-Banigan
    • Doctor specializing in endocrinology, diabetes, and health education
  • John Carney
    • Record-settting former NFL place kicker and current kicking coach 
  • Todd Gongwer
  • Pat Sullivan
  • Cort Peters
    • Mental Performance Coach 
  • Elliot Uzelac
    • Football coach at Benton Harbor High School, former Cleveland Browns assistant coach, former Head Coach at Navy and Western Michigan 
  • A Panel on a Comprehensive Plan for the Care of Athletes
    • Lead by Pete Piscitello of the Johnson and Wyandotte CYO
  • A Panel on Mission Integration
    • A discussion on aligning Athletic Department goals with your school's mission led by Carl Patton of Bishop O'Connell High School
  • A Panel on the Lives and Lessons of College Athletes
    • Featuring Notre Dame Athletes Corey Robinson (football), Andrew Helmin (track), and many others
  • An Expert Officiating Panel led by Jeff Curran
    • A panel of officials from all levels will discuss trends in officiating and opportunities for collaboration to elevate the sport environment

"The experience and knowledge of Play Like a Champion Today was in the highest category of my experiences. The setting at Notre Dame, the value system the school teaches, and the faculty resources make this a truly outstanding 'once in a lifetime' experience. Thanks so much. It was awesome."   --2014 Conference Participant

The conference is sponsored by Universal Property and Casualty Insurance Company.  Play Like a Champion Today is grateful for this support, as it enables us to further enhance the Leadership Conference and the services provided to the coaches and administrators we are serving.