UNB Introduces Phillips Sports Leadership Academy

UNB Introduces Phillips Sports Leadership Academy

(FREDERICTON, NB) The University of New Brunswick has been producing leaders for more than 200 years.

That production will intensify with the introduction of the new Phillips Sports Leadership Academy.

The Academy is being established thanks to a generous gift from UNB alumnus Sonny Phillips, and his wife Coleen.

“I’m supporting the establishment of this Leadership Academy, as I’ve always been impressed with young student-athletes who strive every day to be successful on and off their chosen field of play,” says Phillips.

UNB is partnering with the Janssen Sports Leadership Center, a world leader in sports leadership development.

"The Janssen Sports Leadership Center is thrilled to partner with UNB in the creation of their cutting edge new Leadership Academy,” says Jeff Janssen, founder and president of the Janssen Sports Leadership Center.

With Janssen Center support, the Phillips Sports Leadership Academy will offer cutting edge, comprehensive and customized leadership training. It will be available to varsity athletes and members of UREC sport programs.

“We’re extremely proud to offer the Phillips Sports Leadership Academy to UNB athletes,” says John Richard, the school’s Director of Athletics. “The Phillips Academy will enhance the leadership skills that our student-athletes already develop while being part of our programs. It will also strengthen the attraction of UNB to student-athletes.”

The Janssen Sports Leadership Center has worked with dozens of top American universities, including the University of Michigan, Yale University, Boston University, and the University of Arkansas.

St. Francis Xavier University and the University of Guelph are the only two Canadian Interuniversity Sport schools currently working with the Janssen Sports Leadership Center.

UNB’s Phillips Academy will give participants the strategies they need immediately to be leaders on their teams and in class, but also on a long-term basis.

John Richard is excited to have another avenue for student-athlete development.

“Young people are looking for more than a place to learn and compete,” says Richard. “Today’s student-athletes want more. The Phillips Academy will give our student-athletes a skill set that will benefit them now and as they transition into their careers.”

“In the short term, this will make our athletes better and our teams better. Long term, it will enhance their employability, regardless of their field,” says Richard.

“This innovative Academy provides UNB student-athletes with the skills and insights necessary to lead on the playing fields, in the classroom, on campus, and in the community,” says Jeff Janssen. “Not only will the Academy assist UNB student-athletes be more effective leaders during their university years, but the valuable leadership skills they will learn and apply will set them up for a lifetime of professional and personal success.”

Leadership training will be offered at three levels – Emerging Leaders, Veteran Leaders, and Leadership 360.

“This program would definitely have interested me when I played and coached volleyball at UNB, nearly 40 years ago,” says Sonny Phillips. “This is an excellent recruiting program, and a vehicle to further develop abilities in all aspects of their lives.”

Jon Crossland, Varsity Reds women’s soccer coach, will lead the programming for the Phillips Academy after completing Janssen’s “Lead the Leaders Certification and Training Program.”

“This program has the opportunity to take developing the whole person to another level,” says Crossland. “A large part of our responsibility as coaches is to help develop people, and this academy will allow us to equip our athletes with tools they’ll use throughout their lives. It will improve results for our students and our teams, but it will enhance what our people do after they leave here, and the impact of that is immeasurable.”

Janssen believes the impact of the Phillips Academy will be felt almost immediately.

“We appreciate John Richard's, Jon Crossland's, and the Phillips family's commitment to developing world class leaders at UNB, and look forward to our partnership to develop UNB's next generation of leaders."