Nick Saban from Alabama is coming to the Lehigh Valley next month to speak at the NIKE Clinic. Find out when, where. | Soccer

Like so many other things, the NIKE Coach of the Year Clinic has been put on hold by COVID-19.

In February 2020, Penn State’s James Franklin and Ohio State’s Ryan Day attended the clinic at Wind Creek Center in Bethlehem. About a month later the world changed.

The Clinic was held virtually in 2021 and 2022, but it’s again an in-person event, and Alabama coach Nick Saban will lead a star-studded series of college football coaches attending the Wind Creek Center on February 10-11 .

“We brought the 2020 NIKE Coach of the Year back to the region and it was a great event,” said Bobby McClarin, a graduate of Liberty High School and former US Naval Academy soccer player who serves as the Regional Director of the NIKE Coach of the Year Clinic acts. “We had at least 380 youth, middle school, and high school coaches from six different states, and we had Coach Franklin and Coach Day, and we had 35 other college coaches who shared their words of wisdom to help the youth and high school coaches.” care for. Now after being virtual for the past few years, it’s great to have this again.”

The NIKE Coach of the Year Clinic in Bethlehem is one of seven held nationwide in February and March. Other venues include Las Vegas, Orlando and Atlanta.

Alongside Saban, current Virginia Tech head coach and former Penn State defense coordinator Brent Pry will hold a session, as will Army Jeff Monken, Penn State defense coordinator Manny Diaz, Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson, the new Lehigh head coach Kevin Cahill and new Lehigh offensive coordinator Dan Hunt and many others.

“Delaware will be there, Lafayette will be there, East Stroudsburg, Monmouth, Princeton, Susquehanna, Kutztown, Utica, Muhlenberg and so many great coaches will be there,” McClarin said. “This is going to be a great event that will cover so many aspects of football. Tom Long, Moravian’s Director of Athletic Performance, will be in attendance to discuss strength and conditioning. A lot of ground will be covered.”

While the sessions are geared towards football coaches from the college level through the youth ranks, McClarin said all football enthusiasts are welcome.

“We’re not going to turn people away,” he said. “It’s great for the coaches to come out because it’s a bonding, camaraderie event. One thing that needs to be emphasized is that it’s not just about the Xs and Os. There is something for everybody. You will talk about basics, skills and exercises for each position.

“Some youth coaches may think it’s getting to be too much for them, but it won’t. These guys will talk about things like culture and philosophy. Starting February 10 at 12 noon with Coach Saban for a 75-minute Q&A is a great place to start. Bring your questions with you.”

McClarin said the clinic will take advantage of Wind Creek’s new venue and have plenty of additional space that could accommodate up to 1,800 people.

Proceeds from the event benefit McClarin’s Five-Star Heart program, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to serving the Lehigh Valley and beyond by building characterful youth leaders on and off the athletic fields, especially those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

McClarin founded the organization in 2016 following his pre-game speech at Notre Dame in 2009 when he was a midshipman.

According to the Five-Star Heart website, McClarin, a middle linebacker, addressed his teammates in a pregame speech and said, “Notre Dame’s locker room might be filled with ‘5 Star recruits,’ but this locker room has 5-star hearts.” Notre Dame beat Navy 23-21 that day.

To register for the NIKE Coach of the Year Clinic, go to

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