DAPHNE, Ala. – Aimee Fador was a highly regarded high school basketball player who could have gone to college on an athletic scholarship, but, like many people, special family circumstances kept her from leaving home to attend college immediately after high school graduation.

A former high-level basketball player at Waterford (Conn.) High School, Fador was recruited by several Division I and II basketball programs. However, circumstances led to her choosing to stay home to be close to family.  She never lost sight of her goal to become a basketball coach, and in 2009 she was able to take advantage of the United States Sports Academy’s online program to earn her Bachelor of Sports Science degree in sports management.

Fador is now works at the Williams School – a small, liberal arts private school on the campus of Connecticut College in New London, Conn. Fador is the assistant athletic director, physical education and health teacher, and varsity girls’ basketball coach at the school.

“I am truly one very proud Academy alumna and I thank the Academy for providing me such a wonderful education and opportunity,” Fador said.

“I had worked so hard and wanted to play college ball in the worst way, but family means everything to me. I decided to stay back and help, which was honestly one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make.

“It was at that moment I decided I would become a coach and give back to the sport that was so much a part of my heart. To me, coaching is so much more than x’s and o’s. It is an absolute privilege to be a coach, and the responsibility we have to our players is not lost upon me – it is what I thrive on.

“I am still in contact with almost all of my players from every team I have had the honor of coaching. I have gone to weddings, baby showers, been called on dark days and asked to share in joys. At Christmas time our wall at home is covered with cards from former players.”

Fador took advantage of the United States Sports Academy’s distance learning and flexible scheduling options to complete her bachelor’s degree while she took care of her growing family.

“I absolutely loved my time as an Academy student,” Fador said. “I chose the Academy because it gave me the opportunity to pursue an education in the field I was so passionate about while taking care of my family.

“I graduated from the Academy just months after we had our first child. I loved the content of my classes and everything the school stands for. I love how much the school does for its alumni and the networking options for all of us. I highly respect the Academy and tell everyone I know about it.

“I have always thought about going back to the Academy to earn my master’s degree,” Fador said. “It is never far from my mind, and I hope one day I am able to do just that.”

Along with coaching the Williams School’s girls’ basketball team, she also coaches at the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) level. She is nationally certified as a high school sports coach by the National Federation of State High School Associations.

“Coaching at the Williams School has been rewarding for a great many reasons, especially being able to teach the basic fundamentals of a game I love so much,” Fador said. “In addition, I also get to teach the girls some beautiful life lessons along the way.”

As the Williams School’s assistant athletic director, Fador is responsible for scheduling, field and court setup and cross country trail maintenance. As an administrator, Fador works all home athletics events including soccer, lacrosse, basketball, and cross country. She supports every coach on campus and conducts preseason meetings, speaks at various functions about the athletics department and more.

“This is a hands on job that requires dedication, organization and hard work,” Fador said. “I created the entire curriculum for health and wellness. I researched state standards and integrated what I thought was needed and created a curriculum for grades 6-8.”

Fador’s physical education classes are currently participating in a study unit focused on the Winter Olympics, which are taking place this month in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

“The unit includes a ‘tie-in’ with the health class on Team USA nutrition,” Fador said. “The unit compares what our students eat with what Team USA’s athletes eat on light, moderate and heavy training days.”

The 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.

The Academy is based in Daphne, Ala.  For more information, call (251) 626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.