• Gold Medal Squared

GMS Career in Coaching Program

At what is an important time in our country’s history, we’ve taken the time to listen and learn how we as a company can take meaningful action in the fight for racial equality. Those that know us at Gold Medal Squared understand that we value simple, leveraged solutions that have a long and lasting effect, and we didn't want to approach the issue with just words. With that in mind, we decided that doing what we do best – helping people become great coaches - would be our most powerful course of action. To that end, we’re establishing the “GMS Career in Coaching” scholarship program with the goal of putting the entire GMS team, and our resources, behind Black coaches who want to explore a career as a coach.


For so many of us at GMS, the single most powerful influence for success in our lives has been a coach.  Coaches do so much more than teach volleyball - they are role models and mentors who help us hold ourselves to a higher standard. The “GMS Career in Coaching” program aims to continue that story in Black communities by helping develop the careers of future great coaches, who we believe will go on to impact thousands of lives for good.

Head Coach Ray Lewis leading the 2019 NAIA Champions Benedictine University during a timeout

Before outlining the criteria of this scholarship program, we would like to share a story from Ray Lewis, current Head Coach at Benedictine University, and Gold Medal Squared camp coach.


"Entering the coaching world can be intimidating for any new coach, especially as a young Black male. When you look at the statistics of coaches in this game, it is pretty easy to see disparity when it comes to diversity in volleyball coaches, especially at the higher levels. As a young athlete, I always felt like an outsider in the game. I was the only Black kid on my high school team, then proceeded to be one of two in my college program. I came from a low socio-economic background and was raised by a single parent. Due to these factors, I was never able to afford club volleyball. I got into coaching because I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to be a father figure to athletes that I never had present in my life. As I navigated the early stages of my coaching career, I often felt that I would never be able to reach a high tier in the game. I watched volleyball on tv and seldom saw coaches that looked like me, whether it be coaching the National Team or NCAA Division One, there were few coaches of color. 

I entered the high school coaching ranks determined to prove that with hard work and dedication, we could accomplish great things. I wanted to be a positive role model for my players; however, it was not always easy coaching at an inner-city high school program. I had to play the role of parent, mentor, and coach for many of my players. Our team was predominantly minority athletes and we faced much adversity. I can remember consoling a player after the match because he was called the N-word and told that his kind doesn’t belong on a volleyball court. I heard comments from other coaches alluding to my players not being skilled volleyball players, just athletic Black kids. Our team used this as motivation, making it to consecutive NIAA State Championships, winning one in 2014.


Entering the college ranks was a different struggle. I was a volunteer assistant during my first year, followed by a head coaching opportunity in the second year. The stipend paid a mere $8,000 to run a collegiate men’s program. We lacked a facility, campus life, and many other various facets that make colleges appealing for recruits. I was told by other coaches and club directors that this program would never be successful and I was wasting my time. I continued to grow personally while working hard to build a culture of success. In two short years as the head coach, my program reached heights beyond what I had imagined- an NAIA National Runner-up finish in 2018, followed by a National Championship in 2019.

I hope that I can give back to the game that has given so much to me. I also hope that my story serves as an inspiration to other members of the Black volleyball community who feel discouraged about their chances of being successful in the sport of volleyball.


GMS has an outstanding opportunity to help. The amount of resources and knowledge within their staff is phenomenal. I am excited to help the next Black volleyball coach reach their dreams and potential."


- Ray Lewis - Head Coach at Benedictine University, and Gold Medal Squared camp coach

GMS Career in Coaching Scholarship Program

Through educational and mentorship opportunities, we strive to increase diversity in the sport of volleyball. We also strive to develop successful, confident coaches who can become mentors and leaders within their own communities.


The Career in Coaching Scholarship is open to Black men and women who have a serious interest in pursuing a career in coaching volleyball. You must be between 18-32 years of age and provide a letter of recommendation by a mentor, coach, or teacher.


Applications will be available on September 1st of each calendar year. Applications are due December 15th. Candidates will be announced by February 1st by a diverse panel of coaches who have volunteered their time to help with this program.


We will award up to three FULL scholarships per calendar year, details below.

  • Tuition to an unlimited number of GMS coaching clinics within the calendar year.

  • All travel expenses covered for one clinic location, selected by the scholarshiped individual. This includes transportation to/from, lodging, and meals.

  • Unlimited access to the GMS+ educational platform.

  • Mentorship provided by members of the GMS advisory staff.

  • Mentorship with career decisions, references, and job interviews.

We will award up to five PARTIAL scholarships per calendar year, details below.

  • Tuition to an unlimited number of GMS coaching clinics within the calendar year.

  • The recipient is responsible for their own travel costs and meals.

  • Unlimited access to the GMS+ educational platform.

  • Mentorship provided by members of the GMS advisory staff.

  • Mentorship with career decisions, references, and job interviews.

Application Process


Applications are now available!


https://www.goldmedalsquared.com/uploads/files/documents/career_coaching_app.pdf

  • Please open, complete, download/save a copy of your application to your computer.

  • A letter of recommendation is required from a mentor, coach, or teacher outlining why you are a good fit for this program.

  • Once your completed application, and your letter of recommendation is ready to submit, please email both files to info@goldmedalsquared.com with the subject line "Career in Coaching App - First Last Name."

  • We will confirm the receipt of your application. We will also send updates as applications are processed and as decisions are made.



We would like to thank Ray Lewis, Aric Anderson, Eric Hodgson, Nick Hunt, Cat Dailey, Garrett Minyard, Craig Boston, Daryl Adams, and so many others for providing us with education, guidance, and inspiration throughout the development of this program. We look forward to working with this great group of coaches and forging new partnerships with those who want to support the effort.