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Training and Education Command

United States Marine Corps
NCAA coach gives Marines pointers

By Melissa Buckley GUIDON Staff | Gray Marine Corps Research Center | August 19, 2013

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Coach Andrea Hudy, University of Kansas assistant athletic director for sport performance, talks with female Marines about leadership during a visit last week.

Coach Andrea Hudy, University of Kansas assistant athletic director for sport performance, talks with female Marines about leadership during a visit last week. (Photo by Melissa Buckley)


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July 18, 2013 -- Marines on Fort Leonard Wood learned about leadership from one of the country’s most successful leaders — Coach Andrea Hudy, University of Kansas assistant athletic director for sport performance.

“Her visit was part of our ongoing, developing relationship with the Kansas University athletic department that started with their proposal to study our martial arts program and gather data related to athletic performance as it relates to memory and retention,” said Col. John Giltz, Marine Corps Detachment commander.

“As a leader in her field, and the first woman to attain her position in a male-dominated profession, Andrea brought several simple, yet important insights to some of our Marine instructors. First, she gave us a presentation on leadership and how she uses many of our same leadership principles when she works with athletes. The Marines were engaged, asked good questions and, I believe they enjoyed the presentation,” Giltz said.

Next, Hudy spoke to the female Marines as part of the detachment’s new female mentorship program — geared toward exposure to strong female role models.

“Andrea is the latest in a series of strong role models we’ve had talk to the Marines and, again, it was well received. Confidence and determination were her main themes, and she shared some of her own experiences and how she overcame naysayers to emphasize her points,” Giltz said.

Labeled as Kansas’ secret weapon, Hudy spoke to the female Marines about her education, career and rise to the top of a male-dominated career field.

“What I do is teach sport performance to 400 to 500 athletes at the University of Kansas in terms of sports performance and weight training,” Hudy said. “As Marines, you have your own set of core values. Mine are persistence, integrity, passion and hard work.”

She said the females needed to use the motivation they already proved to have when they became Marines to be successful in their profession.

“As a female working in a male-dominated world you will need your persistence to overcome adversity. Working in men’s basketball, I’ve been told everything from, ‘you won’t last two weeks’ to ‘this is never going to work out,’” Hudy said.

She told the Marines that being a good leader came down to knowing who you are and being authentic to yourself in all decisions made.

“Your true power comes from your ability to empower others,” Hudy said. “To be the best you have to know the difference between arrogance and confidence.”

She then answered questions ranging from female unique injury prevention to issues of male versus female competition.

“You all signed up for the Marines to make a difference in other people’s lives,” Hudy said. “As a team member, you are a direct reflection of your coach or leader. As a leader, you have to do everything you are asking your team to do. If you are not ready to step-up and lead, why did you even sign-up in the first place?”
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