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Trusted Coaches has developed an online youth coach training/screening program that features a National Coaches Registry as well as a membership card with the coach’s photo.


In the wake of the Jerry Sandusky/Penn State pedophilia scandal, Dan Klinkhammer, the founder of Minnesota Youth Athletic Services (MYAS) was contacted by journalists who inquired as to what was currently being done to protect America’s youth athletes. Coaches below high school level are mostly untrained and, in many cases, unscreened volunteers. The disturbing revelations of coaches sexually, physically or psychologically abusing players make the leaders of youth sports associations and parents ask:

  • Do we know who is coaching our children, and were they properly screened through background checks and interviews?
  • What should we expect from those who coach our children? Did we provide them with the training necessary to give our children a positive and productive experience?
  • What can be done to help ensure that children participate in a safe and healthy environment? Did my association do everything they could to protect my child?
  • Is there an easy way to find answers to these important questions, such as an online coaches’ registry that parents and association leaders can easily check?

Klinkhammer’s answer to this problem was to develop the Trusted Coaches and the Trusted Officials program. Trusted Coaches has developed an online youth coach training/screening program that features a National Coaches Registry as well as a membership card with the coach’s photo. The card and registry verifies a coach has:

  • Successfully completed an online first-aid course which addresses injury prevention and treatment, hydration, conditioning, and safety.
  • Successfully completed the online concussion training course developed using CDC guidelines.
  • Successfully completed an online Positive Coaching Alliance® Double-Goal Coach® character education course.
  • Passed an approved nationwide criminal background check.

Through all that we have learned during the creation of Trusted Coaches, we have been able to build a comprehensive, service-oriented website. The next evolution in this process has been the creation of Trusted Officials.

The number of officials across the country is slowing decreasing, and we need to do something about it. Many states require youth sports officials to complete a background check and concussion training. We have been in the business of training officials for many years, so by using the Trusted Coaches platform as a template, we now offer Trusted Officials completely online. The program includes sport-specific training, concussion education, and a nationwide criminal background check.