Carolina Leadership Academy Renamed For Baddour
Release: 01/25/2012

Jan. 25, 2012

CHAPEL HILL - The Carolina Leadership Academy, anationally-renowned training program for Tar Heel student-athletes, coaches and staff, has been renamed the Richard A. Baddour Carolina Leadership Academy in honor of UNC's former director of athletics, who created the program in 2004.

This is the eighth year the Carolina Leadership Academy has been developing and supporting leadership skills in and out of the competitive environment. It provides comprehensive and cutting-edge leadership development programming through interactive workshops, 360-degree feedback, one-on-one coaching, peer mentoring and educational resources.

"I am most grateful to Chancellor (Holden) Thorp and the University of North Carolina,"says Baddour, who is in his 46th year of service to his alma mater. "I was speechless when I heard the announcement. The leadership academy means a great deal to me because it touches every one of our student-athletes and coaches. This is the highest compliment I have ever received."

"It is the nation's flagship program for leadership training in athletics and continues to be the model for other schools looking to start similar programs," says Shelley Johnson, director of the leadership academy.

The program invests approximately 4,700 hours in training student-athletes and coaches annually. Approximately 400 student-athletes, including all freshmen, participate each year.

"What we've seen over the first eight years of the program is that our students take that leadership training with them after they graduate and can apply those skills for the rest of their life," says Johnson.

"The Leadership Academy is one of Dick Baddour's great legacies at Carolina," says Chancellor Thorp. "When he created it, the academy was the first of its kind in collegiate athletics. Since then, it's done so much to help student-athletes, coaches and staff build leadership skills. So this is a perfect way to honor Dick's own leadership and his service to Carolina."

"It's so fitting because Dick was the visionary behind it," says field hockey coach Karen Shelton, whose team has played in the NCAA championship game in four of thepast five years, winning twice. "It's a great tribute to his impact on Carolina athletics. The leadership training our student-athletes get has been essential to our success on the field, but the impact extends far off the field, to their academic lives, social lives and the people they are when they leave UNC. The training is life-changing for students, and also for coaches and staff - I've gained from it personally, and I know my colleagues have, too."