SCOTT HIGGINS, COACH DEVELOPMENT MANAGER
Start date: January 2019
Education: Bachelor of Science, Physical Education (University of New Hampshire, 1994)
Scott was previously appointed as High Performance Coach Consultant in 2012 at High Performance Sport New Zealand. He was then promoted to Regional Manager in HPSNZ’s Performance and Strategic Investment Pillar in 2014.
Scott began his international career with the United States Olympic Committee, and over a 15-year period has worked alongside 22 international teams across 14 Olympic and Paralympic programs. He has supported coaches and programs in preparation for the last 5 Winter Olympic Games, 2 Summer Paralympic Games, and has delivered team support at international competitions in 15 countries throughout the U.S, Canada, Europe, Scandinavia, and Asia.
Scott oversaw the operations of a $4.35 million training environment, The Apollo Projects Centre that delivers performance service and support to 185 athletes and programs representing 12 Olympic sports. He increased the capital investment to progress the Center’s performance infrastructure, develop a strong people focused culture, and guide the Center’s realignment to HPSNZ’s strategic priorities. He is credited to securing $9.34 million in Crown funding for a new High Performance Center in Christchurch in 2021.
Scott operates as a ‘coach to people and teams’, advising New Zealand Olympic coaches on their personal capability and leadership of people and campaigns, to deliver medal results. His 5 years of consultancy with National Sport Organizations has aided individual campaigns to deliver 9 medals at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, and the only 2 New Zealand medals at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, in 26 years.
In taking the reins in late 2007 as the first National Coaching Director at USA Curling, Scott was asked in 2009 to lead the formal preparation and planning strategies for the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada. Leaning on experience at U.S. Ski and Snowboard, he recruited key staff into critical positions, increased association program funding to record levels, and guided USA Curling’s Olympic Committee relationship to achieve the largest credentialed Olympic support staff in its history. He built significant relationships in the City of Green Bay and the NFL Green Bay Packers to centralize Olympic preparation and support the community’s aspiration to become USA Curling’s future national training site.
Scott steered USA Curling through a series of significant post-Winter Olympic reviews, a first in the organization’s history; which resulted in initiating a four-year change process to help the association become a sustainable, performance focused Olympic sport organization.
After recruiting USA Curling’s first Director of Performance – internationally renowned Scotsman Derek Brown – Scott turned his focus to creating the Sport Education business unit, to develop the sport and reinvigorate the value and brand experience of USA Curling’s coaches and community, as the sport’s leader in education content and sport development resources. Higgins created and co-authored the first USA Curling sport education resource “The Five Elements of Curling Technique” to record sales, selling 500 printed books in 10 countries in six weeks.
Scott looks for unique opportunities to make an impact, and at times has stepped out of Olympic sports to take advantage of projects, which tie his background and interest in sports, to his faith. He undertook the mission to manage the planning, construction, staffing, branding and marketing of a complete, state-of-the-art, $5 million sports and recreation Family Life Center for the Lenexa Christian Center, a nationally acclaimed contemporary Christian Church with 6,000 members.
From 1999 to 2004, Higgins held multiple sport science positions with U.S. Ski and Snowboard, with 30,000 members and a network of over 50,000 fans and donors.
Higgins is the author of 9 National Coaching & Magazine Articles, 5 Professional Conference & Symposium Abstracts, and speaker at 10 Professional Coaching Conferences & Symposiums.
As Coach Development Manager Scott leads the development of PNZ High Performance and High Performance Athlete Development targeted coaches to ensure that they are supported and valued to be the best coaches they can be. His role has a direct impact upon success against goals within the ‘Medal Winning Performances’ and ‘Leadership of Para Sport’ pillars of the PNZ Strategic Plan – Towards 2020.