Led by Jeff O’Brien, longtime director of MVP and MVP National, the NCAS has been inspired to synergize our learning about gender violence prevention into a research-based model called Huddle Up. Here’s our huddle:
For two-decades, Jeff O’Brien has been committed to harnessing the power and appeal of sport to create positive social change. One of the United States’ leading gender violence prevention educators, Jeff is the catalyst and leader for Huddle Up. Huddle Up leverages the transcendent power of sport to eradicate gender violence, in all of its forms, and the sexism underpinning this abuse. He has been working with education systems, athletics, and the military on these issues since the late nineties
O’Brien’s impact and experience in athletics is extensive. A decorated former student-athlete, high school & college coach, and college administrator, Jeff comes to this work with an insiders’ perspective. He has delivered presentations at over 100 conferences, and impacted thousands of administrators, coaches, and student-athletes at over 150 universities, and worked with all major professional sports leagues in the US.Read More
He conceived and executed a strategy for conference-wide partnerships to maximize “social justice through sport” messaging at member institutions of some the nation’s leading conferences — the Southeastern Conference (SEC), A-10 Conference, and Big Ten Conference. Jeff has empowered dozens of professional sport teams and leagues including the NFL, MLB, NBA, WNBA, NASCAR and Major League Lacrosse. Jeff serves as the lead trainer for the NCAA Leadership Forum and Leadership Academy Workshop, highly successful projects that impact hundreds of participants annually.
Jeff was the long-time director of the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) National Partnership, the first and largest gender violence prevention initiative in college and professional athletics in North America, and the first to utilize the “bystander” approach.
Jeff serves as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) on bystander intervention and violence against women for all branches of the US military and Australian Army, and has delivered domestic and sexual violence prevention education for military service members in Iraq, Bahrain, Germany, England, Japan, Hawaii, Alaska, Australia, and throughout the mainland US. He is one of three SME’s to create the US Air Force’s system-wide Bystander Intervention Training (BIT).
He provides leadership for multiple NCAS programs, including: Branded a Leader (BAL), Athletic Leadership in the 21st Century (AL 21), and Huddle Up.
He began his professional work of changing lives through the power of sport in 1995 when he was named as the initial Site Coordinator of Canisius’ AmeriCorps program — Athletes in Service to America.
Jeff is a published author and speaks regularly with the media. He is regularly sought after for expert perspective and technical assistance regarding bystander intervention, gender violence, leadership and sport in society. He has been interviewed and quoted by dozens of local, national, and international media outlets including: CNN, Court TV, NY Times, Boston Globe, Parade Magazine, NPR, BBC, MSBNC, and Teaching Tolerance Magazine.
He holds a BA in English and MS in Education from Canisius College in Buffalo, New York and is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Central Florida.
He was an All-Conference and Small College All-America selection as a Tight End following his junior and senior seasons and co-captain for his senior year. Jeff was inducted into the Canisius College Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.