Daphne, Ala. — United States Sports Academy alumnus Scott Novack has joined Tulane University in facilities and event management after several successful years with the United States Olympic Committee and Olympic sports associations.
Novack earned his Master of Sport Science in sports management from the Academy in 1997 and embarked on a career of working in high performance for several Olympic sports, including assisting the USA Bobsled and Skeleton Team win six medals at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
A native of Grand Junction, Colo., Novack earned his bachelor’s degree in international affairs and Russian language from the University of Nebraska in 1995. While working for the Goodwill Games in Russia in 1994, Scott met Jack Kelly, who was then a member of the Academy Board of Trustees and a longtime leader with the Olympics and other sports organizations. Kelly, who is now deceased, suggested that Novack earn a master’s degree at the Academy and influenced Scott’s decision to attend.
Novack, who played tennis, baseball, and basketball in high school, moved to Daphne, Ala., to attend residential classes at the Academy. Wanting to capitalize on his Russian language skills and international experience, which piqued his interest in the Olympic movement, he felt the Academy would be the right fit.
“It worked out pretty well. I did all the coursework in two semesters on campus,” Novack said. “I did my mentorship in England at Brunel University in the fall of 1996. Those opportunities were not available at other schools.”
It was a good experience for Novack as he had to learn the English system of sports and it was in an Olympic year. He was also able to get involved in rugby, which later provided him a job in sport.
“I still to this day keep in touch with many people I was in school with at Brunel,” he said. “I wrote my thesis on British Olympic Development and then returned to Daphne to complete my comprehensive examinations.”
After a short stint at the Academy working in sport education, Novack in 1999 joined USA Rugby and their game development initiatives related to coach development, youth/high school development and the Under 19 National Team.
Later, from 2005 to 2007, Novack served as director of high performance with USA Taekwondo, where he oversaw and implemented all high performance initiatives. During the same period, he served as team leader for USA Taekwondo national teams at nine major international competitions that accounted for 46 medals (15 gold, 10 silver, 21 bronze). This included three world champions — Steven, Mark and Diana Lopez — and a second place overall finish at the 2005 World Championships.
In 2007, Novack joined the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Sport Partnership Division, where he was manager of high performance for the sport of modern pentathlon. From 2008 to 2014, Novack served as director of high performance for USA Bobsled and Skeleton, where his duties included planning and integration of national team programming, Olympic and national team logistics, athlete preparation, staffing, sport science/technology, analysis and all camps that led to the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. He was the high performance director when the teams brought home six medals from the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games.
Over the last year, Novack has changed gears professionally and has relocated to the New Orleans suburb of River Ridge. He now serves Tulane University as facilities and events coordinator in intercollegiate athletics, supporting the basketball program. He credits the Academy with preparing him for his career in sport.
“Getting the master’s degree allowed me to meet the people I needed to meet and have the connections that were important to make my career choice,” Novack said.
“Some of my best friends went to the Academy in the same time frame. If I had to do it all over again, I would do it the same way because I met so many people residentially. I am godfather to two sets of kids from guys who were at the Academy in the residential program.”
Based in Daphne, Ala., the United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, regionally 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.