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Coaches are an Underserved Community of Very Selfless Individuals & Families

Why Coaches Matter

We all know that a good coach can make a positive impact on the lives of young people. Good coaches can use sport as a vehicle for positive personal growth, self-confidence, and overall well-being (including mental health). This probably seems obvious to anyone that has ever been a coach (or who has been coached before). But the immense influence of a good coach is still overlooked and underappreciated by all, including coaches themselves.

According to Thelma Horn, a professor of sports leadership and management at Miami University, a coach's feedback becomes gradually more important as a child progresses through youth sports. "Particularly between eight and 16 or 18, the coach becomes the primary figure. More important than the parents. That starts at eight. But increases in importance into high school."

This is not to disenfranchise parents or say that their feedback isn't essential. We all know that it is. But the contrast illustrates how critical good coaches are and how influential they quickly become... more effective than friends, teachers, and in one window, even parents.

If all of this is true, then it seems like developing, recognizing, and retaining quality coaches should be a top priority in our society. But this is often not the case. An overwhelming majority of youth coaches do so on a volunteer level - forgoing free time that could be spent on themselves, their careers, or their families. In fact, except for coaches at the elite ranks of significant sports (that make up a tiny percentage of all coaches), even college and professional coaches are poorly compensated in terms of their other possible career options.

So what do we do about this? Coaches and their families deserve a support system. Coaches and their families deserve to be helped when they need help, or their family needs help.

This is where The Big Man Foundation's story begins.

Who We Are

The Big Man Foundation (BMF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity based out of Virginia. Our mission to alleviate and prevent hardships for athletic coaches and their families. We exist to serve coaches of all sports at any level of competition.

What We Do

Our approach to supporting coaches is twofold.

  1. We are reactive to coaching tragedies when they happen in our coaching community. We are able to grant emergency financial assistance, facilitate a community of coaches and families to support others, and offer resources and provide professional referrals. So far this year we have been able to provide over $10,000 in assistance to families in need.

  2. Our next major initiatives are aimed to be proactive about trying to prevent coaching tragedies from happening. These are currently being developed. These initiatives include an outreach initiative to educate coaches on various health and wellness topics (including physical and mental health) and championing a wellness day for coaches to encourage coaches across the country to see a licensed physician for a general health check up. Our first wellness day will be in Spring of 2023.

How You Can Help

We need more people on our team and we humbly ask for your support. If you believe in what we are trying to do and you have the means to give please consider making a tax deductible gift today at our website:

We pledge to continue to utilize that support to further support coaches and their families in times of need. With your support, we will be able to continue to grow the reach of The Big Man Foundation – impacting more lives and continuing our vision to change the game for coaches and their families. You can expect your investment to fuel growth in the following areas:

  • Continued development of our outreach initiatives aimed at addressing health concerns in our coaching community to prevent the next coaching tragedy AND

  • Expanding our grant initiatives to help coaches in emergency situations.

If you would like to become a champion of our mission within your coaching community, please consider applying to become a BMF Ambassador on our website.

Our Story

BMF was launched in December 2020 by Casey Kroll. Casey was a college football player at James Madison University (JMU) from 2011-2015 before becoming a college football coach. His stops along the coaching trail included James Madison University, Lamar University, and Southern Methodist University before leaving the coaching profession to found BMF. He was inspired to start BMF after witnessing his college football coach and coaching mentor’s long battle with Guillain-Barre syndrome and cancer. Coach Jamal Powell passed away in Spring of 2021 at the age of 39. Coach Powell is survived by his wife and three young children.

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