Dr. Ashley Allanson, soccer faculty cohort facilitator for the Master’s in Soccer Coaching Education at The Patton College is a former professional soccer player and an active D1 soccer coach with the Ohio University women’s soccer team. Dr. Allanson attended the University of Hull and achieved a first-class honors B.Sc. degree in Sports Coaching & Performance. He then went on to study for his Ph.D. in 2010, and successfully completed his thesis in October 2014, focusing on Soccer Coach Educators in the UK and their retrospective careers. This experience inspires his research interests in the sociological aspects of sports coaching. Dr. Allanson also holds the UEFA 'B' soccer coaching qualification and worked for Hull City Tigers FC Academy for nine years coaching elite young soccer players. Additionally, he represented England in Futsal, as well as representing the England Universities soccer team in 2008. He joined Ohio University as an Assistant Professor of Instruction in Coaching Education in 2017.
Why Ohio University? What brought you here?
Researching Faculty jobs in the USA from England, the Ohio University Coaching Education program stood out to me because of the fact it had a Coaching Education Soccer master’s degree. I was very fortunate to be able to apply for a faculty position and be hired here. Educating coaches (not just in soccer) is a passion of mine, and to be able to do this here at Ohio University gives me an incredible platform to do this in my faculty position.
What would you consider an important long-term goal for the MCE programs?
The long-term goal is to continue educating coaches by continuing to grow the programs to reach more coaches that are wanting to pursue a master’s degree in something they are extremely passionate about - coaching (at any level).
What is the most important thing you hope your students gain from the MCE programs?
That coaching is not just X and Os, but instead, it is about dealing with humans. The individual athlete is the most important part of the coaching process, and how coaches aim to understand every one of their athletes to ‘best coach them’ is something that is essential for athlete development and success.
What coaching advice, and from whom, is the best you have received?
My dad was a professional youth soccer Academy coach in England, and the best advice he gave me as a coach was “coach someone in the way you would like to be coached” - basically, have empathy with each and every athlete you work with.
Favorite moment at Ohio University?
I have had some incredible moments since arriving at Ohio University. Winning the Patton College of Education Distinguished Faculty Undergraduate Teaching Award in 2019, and then winning the Patton College of Education Distinguished Faculty Graduate Teaching Award in 2021 are two personal moments of accomplishment. However, I would say that my favorite moment is always when I’m teaching students on a daily basis, both in a classroom or in an online setting, and see a student’s “lightbulb” moment as they understand a concept that they have been trying to grasp, and ultimately become a better coach because of it, because they then try it in their own coaching environment and it was a success.
For more information about the Master's in Coaching Education and Master's in Coaching Education - Soccer, visit our website.