Written by: Mike Friello AAU Taekwondo National Chair
Colorado Springs, CO
On Wednesday, March 27, 2013 the interim CEO of the USAT, Mr. Bruce Harris, announced the final selection of the new National Head Coach for USA Taekwondo and that person was none other than the AAU’s own national coach, Master Patrice Remarck.
Prior to this announcement the USAT had been involved in the arduous process of making this selection. Initially there was a call for candidates which yielded some 22 qualified candidates including former national head coaches Jean Lopez and Juan Moreno. The competition was extremely stiff, as it should have been.
From these candidates a Selection Committee was asked to whittle the field of 22 down to five. According to the USAT there was even a poll of elite Taekwondo athletes taken that was conducted by the USOC AAC Representative on the USA Board of Directors, Ms. Lynda Lurin. The insights gained from their comments were given great consideration. These five coaches were then invited to Colorado Springs for in-person interviews during which they were expected to provide their own personal insight into what was needed for the US to reach its potential on the International stage, as well as, their own master-plans for achieving that success. When all was said and done the USAT CEO, Mr. Harris, chose Master Remarck.
“This is a banner day for Master Remarck, the United States Olympic Taekwondo Program, and the AAU Taekwondo Program says National AAU Taekwondo Sport Chair, Master Friello. While some within the AAU Program may feel that the NGB is once again raiding the AAU Taekwondo ‘cookie jar’ (one of the two former national coaches, Jean Lopez was also solicited from the AAU Taekwondo coaching staff) I have no such misgivings. It is a completely different time and place in which this hiring takes place. I’d like to believe that Patrice’s hiring is a clear signal to the entire US and International Taekwondo Community that the AAU Taekwondo Program has extreme merit and talent. I believe it also signals a new day of cooperation between our two organizations, which together make up the vast majority of Olympic style Taekwondo practitioners in the country.”
This news also comes on the heels of yet another AAU Coach, Master Luciano Medina, of Chicago, IL being elected to the USAT Board of Directors as the Coach Director for the Board. And we can look forward to more of the same in the near future. “Certainly AAU coaching staff member, Ms. Arlene Limas, and National AAU Head Coach, Mr. Greg Tubbs, will be targeted to fill new positions within the USAT Coaching Program as well I suspect”, said Master Friello.
The new interim CEO for USAT has taken some bold and courageous steps since assuming his position including sharing some time with Master Friello at the recent German Open Championship in Hamburg, Germany. Mr. Harris has extended an olive branch of sorts directly to me. Since this is the first time such action has ever been taken by the leadership of the USAT, I can only interpret this as a positive thing and I look forward to meeting with Mr. Harris soon to discuss how our two organizations might ‘partner’ to help raise the status of US Taekwondo Internationally.
“Master Remarck was by far the best choice for this position although a difficult one given the past environment. It should send a message to everyone within the US that the US Olympic Taekwondo Program is a whole new ballgame. What really needs to happen here in the US is that the sport of Taekwondo must become so much more comprehensive than it has been in the past. We (the US) are simply too big, have too much talent, and possess too financial resources not to be somewhere closer to the top of the International Games. We just have not worked together to accomplish that. By becoming truly inclusive the US is capable of making great strides quickly. We think Master Patrice’s hiring is a step in that direction.”
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