Ethical professional identity and the development of moral exemplar collegiate coaches

Maya G.B. Hamilton, Nicole M. M LaVoi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Coaches have the potential to influence athletes’ moral development, especially at the collegiate level—a powerful period of growth in young adults’ lives. As central agents in athlete moral education, coaches’ moral development and understanding of professionalism is currently unknown. The purpose of this study was to increase understanding of the ethical professional identity development of sport coaches. In-depth interviews based on moral exemplar and moral identity development theories were conducted with NCAA Division-I collegiate head coaches (n = 12) in the United States who were peer nominated ‘moral exemplars’. Interviews elicited themes of moral exemplarity, professionalism, and above average ethical identity development. Results can inform and improve coach education for current and future members of the profession.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-128
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Moral Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Journal of Moral Education Ltd.


  • Professionalism
  • intercollegiate
  • moral exemplar
  • moral identity
  • sport coach


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