Coachseek’s Top 50 Influential Coaches for 2015

From thought leadership, to innovation and coaching excellence, this list brings the top coaching trailblazers. These hardworking guys and girls will keep you inspired, updated and motivated so you can keep moving forward and pushing matter what level you coach.

The Top 50 Influential Sports Coaches.

The definitive list of Coaches worth checking out in 2015.

26. Allistair McCaw


Allistair McCaw has been a trainer and performance consultant for 21 years. His philosophy of training is encapsulated in his McCaw Method™, an approach to sports performance coaching that emphasizes quality over quantity. McCaw tested his training and recovery methods by running 12 marathons in 12 months in 2013. He is a passionate speaker, a prolific writer, and a self-described lifelong learner.

27. Ryan Krane


Ryan Krane is a fitness entrepreneur specializing in corrective exercise. He is the creator of The Krane Training Method™ and the founder of the Get My Body Better online series. His exercise programs help people eliminate their pain through exercise and build a rock solid foundation inside their bodies so they won't crack and can continue living their live to the fullest. His passion in life is to help chronic pain sufferers address and eliminate recurring body aches through expert-designed flexibility, posture, and strength training. Ryan has his Master's Degree in Exercise Science with a concentration in Rehabilitation Sciences and has been featured on ABC, NBC News Radio, Prevention and Women’s Health and the homepage of Yahoo.

28. Pete Ellinger


Peter Ellinger’s fencing career began when he was a schoolboy. After becoming involved in the sport, he appreciated the attention of his coaches and the loans of equipment, and he vowed to give back one day. Ellinger has fulfilled his promise by introducing athletes to fencing through his coaching and his founding of three fencing clubs. Ellinger trains fencers from beginning to national levels and also does school outreach and referees all weapons at many levels.

29. Brian MacKenzie

Multiple Sports

Brian Mackenzie has competed and coached in multiple sports over 45 years. He designed and runs The Sports Coach website, a site that provides training and coaching advice for athletes and coaches around the world. In addition to providing performance tips on The Sports Coach, Brianmac has written four books and edited three on performance and coaching.

30. Tom Avery


Tom Avery has pioneered the business of online tennis coaching. With 29,000 YouTube subscribers, Avery is an example of how the internet can be used to grow a coaching business. He helps players of every skill level with his Consistent Tennis technique, and he also is the designer and founder of the AVERY Racquet Company.

31. Chris Facey


A devastating injury derailed Chris Facey’s hopes of a professional basketball career, but it didn’t keep him out of the game. Facey became a coach in the UK and found his purpose as Head Coach for Junior Development through NASSA. Facey was named England Basketball’s Volunteer Coach of the Year in 2012 and UK Community Coach of the Year in 2014. Despite these honors, Facey says the real reward comes from seeing his young athletes excel.

32. Ben Lawry

Sea Kayak

Ben Lawry’s career spans continents as well as decades. He has been competing and coaching in sea kayaking for 25 years. Lawry is particularly known as a forward stroke coach. He has developed a series of on-land exercises that highlight the relationship between posture and stability, so that his students experience an immediate improvement by making a few simple adjustments. Lawry emphasizes the need for overall fitness in a sport with an older cohort. Lawry also runs kayak camps for overall skills improvement and is a frequent guest instructor at symposiums, where his classes fill up with paddlers eager to paddle faster and more efficiently.

33. Jem Hall


Jem Hall works with windsurfers of a variety of levels to help them increase their skill levels, eliminate bad habits, and overcome fear. Hall has developed and run windsurf centers as well as clinics around the world, but no matter where or what level he’s coaching, he uses methods best suited to each student’s learning style. Hall has produced two popular DVDs in conjunction with Lars Peterson, the first focusing on beginner techniques and the second advancing intermediate skills. Hall is also a qualified Sports Science coach who has worked with top athletes in his sport.

34. Pete Nicol and Jethro Binns


As a former world champion and world number 1 squash player Peter Nicol knows his stuff, as does his business partner Jethro Binns, a former Welsh number 1 and British University squash champion. Peter and Jethro also know how to run a business, having set up their online squash coaching company Since launching in 2012 they now have a following of over 50,000 on Facebook, with nearly 2,000 interactions per month. A site dedicated to providing an online coaching library resource and swing analysis service, if you’re a squash player and haven’t heard of SquashSkills, then you’re really missing out.

35. Dan John

Strength and Conditioning

Dan John is as well-known for his inspiring books and his "never let go" philosophy as he is for his strength coaching. He has competed in Olympic lifting, Highland Games, and the Weight Pentathlon. A frequent guest on podcasts and speaker at events, John is an engaging speaker who has done much to attract people to his sport. Now, John conducts weekly workshops and writes books on aspects of strength, throwing, and motivation.

36. Libby Peter


International Mountain Guide Libby Peter has been climbing since her school days and has been racking up instructor certifications almost as long. She works with climbers of every level, from introductory to advanced. Peter has been referred to as a ‘climbing improvement guru’; she has a knack for helping athletes who break out of a rut to get to their next level. She’s the author of Rock Climbing, Essential Skills & Techniques, which is the official handbook of the Single Pitch and Mountaineering Instructor Awards, as well as a regular contributor to Climber magazine.

37. Neghar Fonooni


Neghar Fonooni is an online coach who encourages people to focus on a fit lifestyle. She is known for teaching strength training and nutrition to women through her blog, Eat, Lift, and be Happy, as well as her workshops and speaking engagements. Fonooni is on the board of advisors for Girls Gone Strong, an organization that promotes healthful lifestyles and heavy lifting for women.

38. Kate Boyd


Kate Boyd turned her long experience as a cheerleading coach into a business of coaching other coaches. Her coaching gives her coach-students the tools they need to confidently build teams and manage cheerleader, parent, and administrator expectations. Boyd’s business is based on online resources, including a popular online stunt course and a regular blog with tips, insights, and tools for success.

39. Ray Sweeney


Ray Sweeney turned his lifelong love of karate into an avenue for helping others. He founded a karate club in Spain, where he found his affinity for working with disabled children. When he returned to England, he opened the first karate club catering to disabled children in the nation. Kickstart 100 was an initiative to introduce karate to 100 disabled children within a year. Sweeney met his goal and many of those children continue to train in karate today, seeing improvements not only in their movement, but in their cognitive and social skills as well. The real difference Sweeney has made in people’s lives make him a very influential coach indeed.

40. Glenn Whitney

Multiple Sports

Glenn Whitney is a psychologist and the host of SportsCoachRadio, a podcast that helps coaches gain leadership skills. He selects top coaches as guests, covering topics like mental toughness, mood management, and handling setbacks. Whitney sees his role as that of a coach mentor, helping coaches sort through the mental aspects of team management and leadership. He also works directly with elite coaches across many sports.

41. Jimson Lee

Track and Field

Jimson Lee takes an academic approach to increasing the speed and endurance of track and field athletes. Lee blends coaching, biomechanics, and sport science in his work, and communicates his ideas through his blogs, Speedendurance and StrengthPowerSpeed. Lee started his blogs as a source of solid information when he became disillusioned by the number of trainers selling what he describes as ‘gimmicks’. Lee believes in knowledge-based coaching, although he says that, ultimately, a coach is measured by results, not knowledge.

42. Bret Contreras

Strength and Conditioning

Bret Contreras is known as the Glute Guy. He has built a business based on his knowledge of glute training, although Contreras is versed in sports science and is nearing completion of his PhD in the discipline. Contreras not currently taking clients but continues to coach through his popular website and YouTube videos. He is also active on the seminar and podcast circuit. Contreras recommends that his clients learn from many coaches, trying new things to find out what works best for them.

43. Lita Scott

Barrel Racing

Lita Scott is a professional barrel racer as well as a coach offering personalized training for professional riders and riders who are on the path to a professional career. Her coaching covers everything from how to enter a rodeo to tuning horses on the road and beyond. She is known for her generous spirit, sharing the knowledge she’s learned in 20 years of competition with students who may be up against her in her next competition. Scott’s goal is to help other barrel racers climb the success ladder more quickly and avoid expensive trial-and-error. Her efforts to give back to the sport have yielded winning horses and champion riders from high school age and up.

44. Tanji Johnson


Tanji Johnson coaches fitness, figure, and bikini to her Save Fitness competition team, as well delivering personal training to athletes working toward competition. She marketed the first figure posing DVD, The Art of Posing, has contributed numerous articles to bodybuilding and fitness magazines, and also works as a fitness model. Johnson is largely self-taught and she bases her coaching on her belief that everyone has the power to change if they do the work.

45. Andy Ram


Andy Ram completed a notable career as a professional tennis player to enter the arena of technology. As the CEO of Pulse Play, a startup funded through Indiegogo, Ram promotes wearable technology and an app for amateur tennis players. Pulse Play is a smartwatch that features scorekeeping, ranking, opponent discovery, match history, and more, to help amateurs improve their games and have more fun.

46. The Trapeze Twins

Circus Arts

Elsie Smith & Serenity Smith Forchion have worked for Cirque de Soleil, Ringling Brothers, and many other circuses. Today, they teach circus arts at the recreational and pre-professional level. Their classes emphasize spotting, skill progression, and class management skills. The pair is known for their ability to help coaches identify gaps in their curriculum and fill them by breaking down movements into small teachable units while providing a safe and encouraging environment.

47. Marcello Monteiro

Jiu Jitsu

Marcello Monteiro has been active in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu since he was a child. He grew into a competitor and now runs BJJ academy and online training school, serving recreational and competitive fighters of all ages. Monteiro is determined to promote his style of BJJ through his step-by-step guide, White to Black Belt Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. His students appreciate the friendly atmosphere of his gym, the level of technical expertise he provides, and the personal attention he gives to every one of them.

48. Vanessa Keenan


Vanessa Keenan is the founder of The Online Synchro Coach and the author of The Pattern Book. The Pattern Book is a tool Keenan developed to challenge coaches to think more creatively and avoid repeating patterns. She developed The Pattern Book after realizing she was spending too much time working on patterns each year when her time would be better spent on working to improve her team’s skills and opportunities. Keenan has a strong desire to share her knowledge with other coaches, a goal she achieves through The Online Synchro Coach, which she uses to address coaching issues, technique tips, and exhibition issues.

49. Robbie Peers


Robbie Peers is the founder of Basketball for All and Community Sports Coaching South, a sports delivery provider of programs serving disadvantaged children in South London. In between his philanthropic endeavors, he was the head coach of the London Towers professional basketball team. Since then, Peers founded the Community Sports Coaching Foundation, an organization that provides sports programs to underprivileged youth. He now acts as the organization’s executive operations manager.

50. Jason Lampione


Jason Lampione is the senior head professional at Upper Ridgewood Tennis Club with previous coaching credentials such as Team USA’s National Assistant Coach for the World University Games. Jason is a tennis coach with a unique approach focusing on making a strong connection with each player in order to establish trust and build a lasting relationship. He applies the same intensity to coaching a player as he does to improving business operations and boasts a large online presence. Lampione is known for his high energy and strong communication skills.

How we created this year’s list.

Not wanting to leave anyone out, we’ve searched the internet high and low, listened to your recommendations, and taken nominations, to find those truly outstanding individuals who are making a real impact on the sports coaching industry.

What we mean by “Influential Coaches”

In developing this list, we defined “influential coaches” as innovators in the sports coaching industry, who are inspiring the sports world, providing new ideas and an overall valuable contribution to their sport. They must have a deep understanding of their sport and coaching, with a proven track record of their contribution.

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