Two Academy Faculty Teach in Thailand

2 faculty members

George Bebetsos, pictured, and Dr. Pete Mathiesen, members of the Academy’s National Faculty, recently taught in Bangkok, Thailand, under the Academy’s International Certification in Sports Coaching (ICSC) and International Certification in Sports Management (ICSM) programs.

Two United States Sports Academy faculty recently traveled to Thailand to teach sports leaders as part of a long-term relationship between the Academy and the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT).

Dr. Pete Mathiesen and George Bebetsos, members of the Academy’s National Faculty, taught under the Academy’s International Certification in Sports Coaching (ICSC) and International Certification in Sports Management (ICSM) programs in Bangkok, which have been in place more than a decade.

Mathiesen taught Sport Psychology, which focuses on human psychological behavior and its influence in sport and exercise settings, while Bebetsos taught Elite Sports Development, which focuses on the stages of athletic development among elite athletes.

Both the ICSC and ICSM programs prepare participants for leadership roles in sport.  The ICSC program includes a wide range of coaching and administrative skills, while the ICSM program includes management topics such as sports event planning, marketing and public relations, and facilities.

Under the program, approximately 50 students annually are drawn from the SAT and its affiliated sport organizations around the country to attend the certification courses.  Following the conclusion of the classroom portion of the program, the SAT annually selects the best students from each program for a special study tour of sport in America.  A delegation of approximately 12 students and administrators from the SAT tour various sports organizations and venues for two weeks from coast to coast in the United States.

Coursework for 2016 began in January and runs through June, followed by the sports study tour this fall.   The Academy and the SAT recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to extend cooperation in sports education and training through 2020.

Mathiesen is from Chico, Calif., and retired from the faculty at California State University, Chico. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Humboldt State University, a master’s from San Jose State University, and an Ed.D from the University of Sarasota. He teaches in sports psychology, sports sociology, and athletic administration. He has taught classes for the Academy in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Panama, and Aruba.

He has served as the head basketball coach of the Geelong Cats of the National Basketball League of Australia and was head basketball coach at California State, Chico, and the College of the Redwoods.  He is ranked in the top 30 for victories among NCAA Division II head basketball coaches.

Bebetsos has worked in sport for nearly 30 years and has experience as an athlete, instructor and manager. He serves as head of the Physical Education Department at Anatolia College in Thessaloniki, Greece.   He previously served as an instructor of physical education at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He also has served as the event supervisor for the European Beach Handball Tour Finals.

Bebetsos earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education and sports science from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, and his master’s in sport administration from the University of Wisconsin.  He is a doctoral candidate at Democritus Thrace University in Komotini, Greece.

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