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Ted F. Burden and Marlene A. Dixon

Numerous studies have shown the high level of influence interscholastic coaches’ yield at their respective campuses (Côté & Fraser-Thomas, 2007; Fredericks & Eccles, 2006; Greendorfer, 2002). This influence is not confined to athletes only, but extends to a large portion of the general student body as well. Coaches, especially interscholastic coaches, can become centers of influence (COI) for physical fitness and physical activity participation throughout the entire student body. This often unsolicited influence can have dramatic effects on how non-participants view initiatives and opportunities encouraged by “their” coach. For example, coaches can personally recruit new athletes, provide mentoring, and/or encourage participation in after-school activities.