Department SpotlightHead Soccer Coach Helps Train Olympic Development Team
Soccer players taking the field in this year's Under-17 World Cup Championships in Trinidad and Tobago may bear the stamp of Sean Bushey, assistant professor of kinesiology and head coach of the Whitworth men's and women's soccer teams.
Bushey has served as a Regional IV Olympic Development Program staff member for soccer during the past two years. The ODP is a means of identifying the best players to progress to the national team level and represent the country in various age groups. The national teams compete worldwide in places such as Italy and Costa Rica and represent five age groups. Bushey worked with the 17-and-under age group his first year and the 15-and-under age group his second year.
"One of the main reasons I wanted to assist the regional staff was to work with high- quality young athletes," Bushey says. "It is great to watch the progress we are making in this country in regards to soccer development."
Bushey spent spring break in Hawaii, identifying and training players for Hawaii's ODP; these players were then sent on to the ODP Regional Camp, held this past summer.
"This position helps me in terms of continuing to improve as a coach," Bushey said. "I am surrounded by high-level coaches and players, so the challenge is to keep the pace. As iron sharpens iron, this serves as one of those sharpening tools. Hopefully, that is then passed on to the student-athletes I deal with here at Whitworth."
Bushey received his bachelor's degree at Belhaven College in Jackson, Mississippi, and his master of science degree from Eastern Washington University. He has taught at Whitworth since 1996. He was also the head coach of the Spokane Shadow, a soccer team that competes in the premier league of the United Soccer League, from 1996-1999.
"Soccer is such a passion for me because I think it relates so much to life in general," Bushey said. "God has put me in so many learning places, and soccer has always been the avenue."