DAPHNE, Ala. – Experienced coach, educator and college athletic director Dr. Jeff Potter recently taught a sports media relations course to soccer administrators in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as part of the international education programs offered by the United States Sports Academy.
Potter, an Academy National Faculty member, taught for the Academy as part of its cooperative effort to train soccer administrators through a Football Club Operators License Program with the United Arab Emirates Football Association (UAEFA).
The Academy and UAEFA collaborated to develop the Football Association Academy for Sports Management (FAASM), known as the Football Association Academy (FAA). This effort includes soccer certification programs that offer professional preparation and training designed to meet the needs of coaches, athletes, administrators and operatives at all levels in the UAE club system. The FAA began offering classes in February 2016.
The Academy provides faculty and instruction for the program, which includes subjects such as sports administration, sport marketing, sports media, and facility and event management. Each subject has three levels of instruction through which successful students receive in succession a “C”, “B” and “A” level license.
Potter taught a level “C” sports media relations course in the UAE.
“The students in this class were highly motivated,” Potter said. “It was a very enjoyable group. The facilities and set up were fantastic.
“The students work for the various professional soccer clubs associated with the UAEFA and they have a great passion for the sport,” Potter said. “I taught them some of the basics of media relations work, including how to put develop media guides in print and online, how to use social media in promotional work and how to promote your teams to the local newspapers.
“We also teach them about having a crisis communication plan,” Potter said. “I always say it’s not if, but when, you’ll need a plan to handle a crisis.”
As a member of the National Faculty, a group of highly qualified faculty who teach in the Academy’s international education programs, Potter has taught in both Thailand and the UAE.
“What the Academy offers these students is something that is greatly needed,” Potter said. “The Academy can teach them how to market their teams and their sport in a way that will attract more fans and attention. And in turn, the people in the UAE have always been very hospitable, welcoming and generous to us.”
Potter has 38 years of experience in coaching and teaching physical education and sport management in higher education. He has taught courses related to facilities and event management, sport law, coaching methodology, principles of health and fitness, sport psychology, physical fitness and conditioning, and exercise testing and prescription. Potter has coaching experience in multiple sports.
“It is always interesting to go to these places and get a fresh look at someone else’s sports culture,” Potter said. “Some of the challenges they face are the same as our sports organizations here face, but some are very different. It is refreshing for me – and I hope to the students – to get ideas from a fresh source once in a while.”
Potter recently retired after serving in various roles at St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee, Okla., where he served as athletic director, faculty athletic representative, associate professor of kinesiology and as the chair of the school’s department of life science and kinesiology. He has also served as a track and field coach and faculty member in kinesiology and physical education at California Baptist College, the University of Nebraska, Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma Baptist University, California State-Fullerton, and Azusa Pacific University. He also coached and taught extensively at the high school level.
He served on the Oklahoma Governor’s Council on Fitness and Sports from 2007-2015 and served in various roles with the Oklahoma Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance between 1999 and 2005. He has been a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association, the Oklahoma Volleyball Officials Association, and the Oklahoma Track and Field Officials Association.
Potter earned a doctoral degree in applied studies in education, sport administration and higher education from Oklahoma State University. He earned his master’s degree in physical education from the University of Oklahoma and his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Oklahoma Baptist University. He is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and holds certification in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) from the Red Cross.
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.
The Academy is based in Daphne, Ala. For more information, call (251) 626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.