TopConnect was born over 15 years ago as a project to connect future leaders with current leaders. Initially launched as Villa 7, the TopConnect program has evolved into a valuable resource for professionals in the current climate of sports, athletics and leadership in general to foster dialogue between individuals that continually strive to effectively lead people, programs and organizations.
Over the years as Villa 7 has evolved into TopConnect, the group has experienced tremendous success. From educating and preparing hundreds of coaches, to building lasting relationships between Athletic Directors and Coaches that translated into finding the right men and women to lead programs.
In 2002 Dr. Richard Sander, then current Athletic Director at VCU, concepted a forum where Athletic Directors and upcoming Coaches could spend time together, engage and interact to identify the next coaches that would lead programs. Relying on a small group of trusted peers to help navigate the landscape, plan the event and develop the program, Dr. Sander organized a symposium that would put the Coaches and ADs in the spot with a common goal - Make the connections necessary to identify a "best fit" scenario given everyone's experience, vision and programmatic goals when the Head Coaching chair inevitably opened up .
Scores of coaches have passed through the Villa 7/TopConnect program and gone on to lead programs of their own. As TopConnect moves forward and expands to bring compelling, valuable content to both administrators and coaches, our goal is to provide industry professionals the necessary tools to move forward by connecting the appropriate people in a productive environment, preparing the next generation of leaders through professional development and - leading the next generation of leaders as they embark on the next phase of their journey.