Career-Defining Opportunities Will Be Available At TopConnect

July 18th, 2018 | by CollegeAD
Career-Defining Opportunities Will Be Available At TopConnect
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Career-Defining Opportunities

As a young up-and-coming assistant coach, there are few career-defining opportunities more beneficial than being exposed to athletic directors and senior staff in an intimate group setting. This is something Virginia Tech’s Buzz Williams knows firsthand.

This exact opportunity was made available to Williams as a young assistant coach at Texas A&M at an event that eventually became known as the Villa 7. Founded by former VCU and ETSU athletic director Dr. Richard Sander, the Villa 7 had a good run but has since folded. However, many still see the need for a similar event that connects up-and-coming basketball assistants with upper-level athletic administrators.

Next week in Las Vegas, Williams will join Dr. Sander at a new event with the same purpose and opportunity as before; TopConnect.

More than 20 athletic directors and associate ADs will meet with over 40 hand-picked assistant basketball coaches at the new event. TopConnect is designed to create a platform for both parties, coaches, and athletic directors, to learn from one another and network.

Career-Defining Opportunities

“I think, for the participants, it’s an opportunity to learn, but maybe just as important, to build relationships with your peers.” Williams told CollegeAD, “You know, so much of our time we spend learning the game and I think that’s what TopConnect does relative to the basketball part is it allows you to learn the business and whether that’s developing relationships with the administrator, or developing relationships with the speakers that they’ll have there.”

TopConnect, which will run from June 23-24 at UNLV, will include head coaches panels, one on one meetings, and give assistant coaches career-defining opportunities to meet and talk with current athletic directors about the most import topics within collegiate athletics.

For Williams, who is set to begin his fifth year at Virginia Tech and his 11th season overall as a head coach, he looks back at the opportunity he had to attend Dr. Sander’s original event as a turning point in his career.

It gives you confidence that you’re invited and obviously you were invited by not necessarily people that you know.” Williams said, “I always think when you’re growing within the business for others to think of you in a good way, its confidence builder. It gives you self-esteem.”

The validation of being invited along with the ability to network is all a former assistant like Williams needed to move forward. For some, the Xs and Os come naturally, but to reach your goals, sometimes a coach has to take a break from the playbook and focus on the career-defining opportunities in front of them.

“When you have that opportunity on that stage with that forum of people it allows you to learn the business and it changes your lens on some of the things that you’ve never had an opportunity to have perspective on.”

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