Academy alumnus Paul Thein held a succession of posts at community colleges in sports capacities, such as coach and administrator, prior to accepting his current position as President and CEO of the Greater Naples YMCA.
In many communities the YMCA is synonymous with youth camps, fitness classes, accessible gyms and helping individuals become healthier in body and mind. In his new post, Thein is actively utilizing his education from the Academy to work on curriculum and programs that benefit the youth in his community. He is advancing programs in youth football in addition to looking at ways to improve adult education in wellness matters and keeping pre-school open at his institution to help shift workers.
With previous experience in revenue building and athletics while enrolled at the Academy and employed with community colleges, Thein claimed he was up for the challenge of working in youth development. Through his work in athletics and student affairs, he learned how to develop programs, expand sports on campus, and how to grow enrollment. Thein is now at what he believes is the best recreation facility in the Southeastern United States.
Thein received his Masters of Sports Science in Sports Management while attending the Academy as a resident in Daphne, Ala. for an extended spring, summer and fall program. He also earned a B.A. in Physical Education from the University of Minnesota, Duluth where he played football and was a member of the wrestling team; in addition he holds a second bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from Minnesota State.
Thein credits his time at the Academy for expanding his professional network and owes a lot of his personal development to the institution.
“It challenged my way of thinking.” Thein said.
Thein is a native of Rochester, Minn., however currently resides in Florida. He has a wife Shanon, and they have two children, Shalyn, 11 and Brody, 7.
The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special-mission sports university created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy, call 251-626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.