BERKELEY – California associate head coach Charmin Smith and assistant coach Kai Felton attended the prestigious Villa 7 Consortium at Nike’s World Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., this week where they participated in the annual invite-only convention that brings together university athletic directors and the country's elite assistant basketball coaches in an effort to prepare the next generation of college basketball leaders.
The event was held in the Tiger Woods Center on the Nike campus and featured segments from prominent men's coaches such as Larry Brown at SMU, Mark Few at Gonzaga and Shaka Smart at VCU.
The Villa 7 began back in 2004 as a forum where athletic directors could share ideas and meet with the country's elite assistant basketball coaches. Approximately 20 athletic directors and 30 carefully selected assistant coaches attended the first meeting in Las Vegas.
Since its inception, more than 115 men's and women's assistant coaches who have attended Villa 7 have gone on to receive Division I head coaching positions.
This year marked Smith’s seventh year as an invitee to the event, and it was Felton’s second year as an invitee. California head coach Lindsay Gottlieb attended the Consortium as an invitee once and earned her first head coaching position at UC Santa Barbara the following season. Gottlieb was later invited to attend as a speaker at the 2009 Villa 7 Consortium.
“The Nike Villa 7 Consortium is the best professional development endeavor in our game, and a first rate event in every way,” Gottlieb said. “I’m proud that both Charmin and Kai are recognized as two of the best coaches in the country and have had the chance to fly to Nike Headquarters and take part in such a valuable experience. Moreover, the feedback I’ve received on how impressive they are amongst a peer group of elite assistant coaches is particularly rewarding. Athletic directors and the consortium leaders that interact with Charmin and Kai at Villa 7 come away with a sentiment that I already share: namely, that I have incredibly talented and special people on my staff. I found my experience at Villa 7 so valuable in my development as a coach, and I’m thrilled that both Charmin and Kai have been included in the program.”
The next generation of rising head coaches, the Villa 7 members comprise the most talented group of men’s and women’s basketball assistant coaches from the most storied programs in the college ranks. As these elite coaches move closer to their goal of running their own programs, participants are exposed to a variety of topics designed to help ease their transition into the first chair. In addition, athletic directors from across the country participate in programming that is critical to the changing landscape of college athletics. The networking and interaction between Athletic Directors and rising head coaches at this unique event allows both groups to better position their programs for future success.