This study examines moral exemplar coaches to better understand how they are able to maintain integrity in the high-stakes environment of NCAA Division-I college sport. In-depth interviews based on moral exemplar and moral identity development theories were conducted with peer-nominated, “moral exemplar” Division-I collegiate head coaches (n = 12). Interviews elicited themes of moral exemplarity, including, for example, having an internalized moral compass and engaging in ongoing personal and professional growth. Illuminating themes and mechanisms by which these coaches develop and sustain moral identity can inform applied work with coach education efforts for current and future members of the profession. Lay Summary: This study looks at coaches who are known by their peers and athletic directors as having strong morals and integrity despite the challenges they face balancing the competing values of fostering athlete well-being with winning while working in the highly competitive environment of National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I athletics.
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