DAPHNE, Ala. – A United States Sports Academy alumnus and high school athletic director has been named program director for Special Olympics New Hampshire.
Zachary “Zach” Medlock, 39, will assume his post with Special Olympics New Hampshire in July. He is currently pursuing his Doctor of Education degree in sports management at the Academy.
“As a teacher, coach and athletic director, I really have experienced the joy and challenge of working with student athletes,” Medlock said.
“When I became involved in Special Olympics as a high school athletic director, I realized I had been missing out on something for a long time. I have really learned that the mission of the Special Olympics matches my philosophy of servant leadership and that I should actively invest myself in serving people.”
Medlock will report to the state president and will be responsible for all athletic programming for Special Olympics New Hampshire, working with stakeholders and volunteers throughout the state to develop local, regional and statewide competitions in more than 30 sports and serving approximately 3,000 people with intellectual disabilities.
“My goal in my new job is to strengthen and expand the programs that are offered for athletes with intellectual disabilities,” Medlock said. “Special Olympics allows everyone the socialization advantages of sports and competing on a team, which contributes to a better society.”
Medlock will work on the traditional Special Olympics competitions, as well as on “Unified Sports,” through which intellectually disabled athletes are teamed up with non-disabled athletes to for local and statewide competition in team sports.
Medlock currently serves as director of athletics at Winnisquim Regional Middle and High School in Tilton, N.H., where has overseen the athletic programs for four years. He previously served for 14 years as an English teacher and coach at high schools in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, where his head coaching duties included varsity baseball, softball and soccer.
Medlock, who resides in Merrimack, N.H., has lived most of his life in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. He earned his bachelor’s degree in English literature in 1998 at St. Michael’s College in Vermont and his master’s in sports management from Southern New Hampshire University in 2011.
Medlock said pursuing the doctorate at the United States Sports Academy has been important to enhancing his opportunities in sport leadership. He began his doctoral program at the Academy in 2011 and the next year was named to his current position as director of athletics.
“Being in the doctoral program at the United States Sports Academy was crucial to my getting my athletic director position and the Special Olympics position, as they were looking for someone with both sports experience and a strong academic background,” Medlock said.
“The Academy’s online doctoral program really fits well into my life, since I am very busy professionally and I have four children, some of whom are very active in sports. The program is flexible and allows me to take time on my schedule to think deeply about sport management and leadership and integrate that into my professional life. That is very important to me.
“My faculty at the Academy are highly responsive and they have helped me learn about sport on a very high level and in a way that I can immediately apply to my life. That means a lot to me.
“The Academy’s program has been really helpful in providing me the theoretical information and the practical information that I can use in my career as an athletic leader.
“My education at the Academy has really given me the opportunity to continue as a lifelong learner and develop further in my knowledge of sport leadership, and the Academy doctorate will open career doors in the future.”
Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, providing year-round training and competitions to more than 4.5 million athletes in 170 countries.
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.