School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Chris Taylor


Athlete, Character, Coach, Moral, Sports


Educational Leadership | Educational Psychology


Through sports athletes are thought to build admirable character traits such as discipline, hard work, sportsmanship, and teamwork. Additionally, there are moral character traits like honesty, integrity, respect for others, and fair play. Research suggests that coaches can and do influence these characteristics both positively and negatively (Van Mullem, Brunner, & Stoll, 2008; Brown, 2003; Gould, Collins, Lauer, & Chung, 2007). The purpose of this ethnographical, phenomenological study is to understand and describe the views and priorities that Division II and III varsity college coaches have toward the development of moral character of their athletes, as well as insight into the athlete's perspective of the coach's influence. Themes will be developed from all data through open coding by revisiting transcripts of the interviews and inductively analyzing the material, breaking down, examining, comparing, conceptualizing, and categorizing data (Creswell, 2007, p. 239-240). The hope is to gain a deeper, richer understanding of the coaches' definition of and perceived role concerning the development of the moral character of the athletes they coach: while also seeking the lived experience of character development from the athletes.