Leading Champions Instructors

Stephen McGee, Former Texas A&M & Dallas Cowboys Quarterback

The Power of Why

Stephen is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional who joined Paragon Financial Advisors in October 2016 to assist the investment management team and help coordinate client affairs. As a financial QB, Stephen helps his client’s implement their retirement game-plan with the goal of accumulating long term wealth and protecting them from common pitfalls. A native of Burnet, Texas, Stephen graduated from Mays Business School at Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing and Masters of Science in Marketing from Mays Business School in 2009. Stephen won the prestigious Aggie Heart Award in 2009 given annually to a senior who has completed his eligibility and who represented the foundation and cornerstones on which Texas A&M Football is established—integrity with mental toughness, respect, trust and loyalty. Each winner has inspired the coaching staff and teammates through a career of service, both on and off of the field, and has given more to the Aggie football program than he takes away. After graduating from Texas A&M, Stephen spent the better part of 6 years quarterbacking with the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Stephen regularly speaks to groups ranging from A&M Clubs, fundraisers, high schools assemblies, football teams, rotary clubs, banquets, churches and ministry outreaches. He also is a color commentator on local radio and TV stations throughout football season and is a proud lifetime member of the Texas A&M Letterman’s Association and is a participant in the Bryan/ College Station Chamber of Commerce Leadership Brazos team. Stephen and his wife of 6 years, Brittany, have a Bengal cat, Jasmine and enjoy relaxing in the outdoors with friends and family.

 

Michael Wesson, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Department of Management

Culture and Building a Successful Team

Dr. Michael Wesson is an Associate Professor for the Department of Management at Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. He currently teaches MS/HRM students, MBA’s, PMBA’s, and EMBA’s in the areas of leadership, human resource management and organizational behavior. Dr. Wesson’s teaching has been recognized with several teaching grants and he has been honored as a Texas A&M University Center for Teaching Excellence Montague Scholar. He is also co-author of an Organizational Behavior textbook. His research focuses on the areas of recruitment, selection, socialization, compensation, and leadership. His research articles have been published in numerous top-tier journals such as the Journal of Applied Psychology, Personnel Psychology, and Academy of Management Review. Additionally, he serves on the editorial boards for several of these journals. Prior to returning to school for his doctoral degree, Dr. Wesson worked as a Human Resources Manager for Baker Hughes, Inc. He received his BBA in Marketing & Management from Baylor University, his MS in Human Resource Management from Texas A&M University, and his Ph.D. in Human Resources Management/Organizational Behavior with a minor in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Michigan State University.

 

Laura “Bird” Kuhn, Head Coach TAMU Volleyball

Culture and Building a Successful Team

Laura “Bird” Kuhn, a former American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Assistant Coach of the Year, was named the head volleyball coach at Texas A&M on December 30, 2017. Kuhn, previously the associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Kansas, becomes the sixth volleyball head coach in Texas A&M program history. “Not only is Bird an exceptional recruiter, but she has an uncanny proven ability to connect with, and develop, student-athletes,” said Scott Woodward, Texas A&M Director of Athletics. “She brings an energy, intensity, and no-nonsense approach that we are confident will resonate with our current student-athletes and recruits.” Kuhn has earned a national reputation as a winner, having made an indelible impact at every stop of her career as an assistant coach while helping multiple programs reach new levels of success.

In the final six of her seven seasons as an assistant coach at Kansas, the Jayhawks constructed a combined record of 152 wins with 38 losses (.800 winning percentage), surpassing the 20-win milestone every year. Over that span, the Jayhawks have made six consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, serving as host of first and second round matches four times. Kansas also has finished in the top three in the Big 12 in each of the last six years, including one outright first-place finish (2012). The Jayhawks have been ranked in the final AVCA Top 25 poll in four of the last six years, including an all-time high No. 3 final ranking in 2015. In 2015, Kuhn was promoted to associate head coach, and she was honored by her coaching peers and selected the AVCA National Assistant Coach of the Year following KU’s historic Final Four run that year in which the Jayhawks upset No. 1 Southern California in the regional finals while finishing the season with a school-record .299 hitting percentage.

Kuhn played collegiately at Georgia Tech, where she was a four-year letterwinner and three-year starting right side hitter from 2001-04. Kuhn earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business management from Georgia Tech in 2005.

 

G Guerrieri, Head Coach TAMU Soccer

Culture and Building a Successful Team

G Guerrieri is the only head coach in the 25-year history of Aggie Soccer. Guerrieri has built the Texas A&M program from scratch into one of the elite sides in the nation and he has the Maroon and White planted firmly atop the Southeastern Conference. One of the winningest coaches in the history of NCAA Division I soccer, Guerrieri has established Texas A&M as a premier program in the nation. Under his tutelage, Texas A&M is one of only five teams to play in every NCAA Tournament the last 23 seasons. Guerrieri has led the Maroon and White to 14 Sweet Sixteens, six Elite Eights and the 2014 NCAA Women’s College Cup. Coach G’s Aggies have consistently been ranked in the national top 25 over the past 20+ seasons while attracting some of the top soccer players in the world to College Station.

Guerrieri ranks fourth all-time among NCAA Division I coaches with 441 wins and sixth with a .756 winning percentage. He has guided Texas A&M to nine conference regular-season titles and eight conference tournament crowns. He is a four-time conference coach of the year and five-time NSCAA Central Region Coach of the Year. Guerrieri and North Carolina’s Anson Dorrance are the only two coaches to lead a team to 23 consecutive NCAA Championship tournaments. Not only have Guerrieri’s teams fared well on the field, but all of the student-athletes that have completed their playing careers for him at A&M have either graduated or are on schedule to graduate. In so doing, the team has annually maintained a team GPA above 3.0. In November of 2017, the Aggies again earned the NSCAA Team Academic Award (composite team GPA of at least 3.0 for all team members who appear on the official NCAA roster forms) for the sixth consecutive season.

Guerrieri received his B.S. in education from Tulsa in 1985. Guerrieri and his wife, the former Terri Markham (A&M, 1987), have three children – a daughter, Emily (20)–A&M Class of 2019, and two sons, Alan (17) and Conner (14).

 

John Krajicek Executive Professor, Assistant Director of Business Communication Studies, MBA, PMBA, & EMBA Programs

Professional Presence 

John Krajicek is an Executive Professor and the Assistant Director of Business Communication Studies for the MBA and EMBA Programs in Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. Prior to his role in Mays Business School, he taught in other departments at Texas A&M University. In the Department of English he taught Scientific and Technical Writing, Rhetoric and Composition, and Introduction to Literature; in the Department of Mechanical Engineering he taught Public Speaking; and in the Department of Accounting he taught Introduction to Taxation. Professor Krajicek is the recipient of an Association of Former Students (AFS) Award for Teaching, the Creswell Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the Killingsworth Award in Teaching Excellence. He is also a Certified Public Accountant. His CPA practice focuses on tax research, planning, and compliance, with clients ranging from large corporations to small businesses, trusts, partnerships, and individuals. Professor Krajicek received his BA & MSA both from North Texas State University and his MA from the University of North Texas.

 

 

 

Bridgette Chambers, Ph.D. Executive Professor, Department of Management

Achieving Success & Goals

Bridgette Chambers is an Executive Professor for the Department of Management in Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. She is also an American Business Association award-winning executive, turnaround expert, growth strategist, and successful business author. Professor Chambers has been recognized more than a dozen times by the American Business Association, including Turnaround Executive of the Year, Maverick of the Year, and Female Executive of the Year. Professor Chambers released the highly acclaimed “Profitable Problem-Solving” in 2015 and co-authored “From the Court to the Boardroom” in 2017 with four-time gold Olympian and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame member, Lisa Leslie. Chambers’ executive appointments include CEO of Constellation Research, CEO of Americas’ SAP Users Group, and Chairman of BGBC Management. Professor Chambers is a well-known keynote speaker and a frequent guest lecturer with Tulane University and Prairie View A&M University. Professor Chambers proudly began her career in leadership by enlisting in the US Army Reserves and later the Texas Army National Guard. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Houston, her MBA from Texas A&M University, and her Ph.D. from Northcentral University.

 

J.T. Higgins, Head Coach TAMU Men’s Golf 

Achieving Success & Goals

Golf Coaches Association of America Hall of Famer J.T. Higgins (Eastern Oregon State ’89) will enter his 18th season at the helm of the Texas A&M golf program during the 2018-19 campaign. Higgins, who was inducted in the GCAA’s Hall of Fame on Dec. 8, 2015, led the Aggies to a school-record 12 straight NCAA tournaments from 2002-14 and guided the program to its first national championship in 2009. In 2012, Higgins was named the Big 12’s Coach of the Year after guiding the Aggies to their first conference title since 1987. It was the second Coach of the Year honor of his career (2001 Mountain West COY while at New Mexico).

Texas A&M golfers have earned 18 All-America honors under his watch and three are currently playing on the PGA Tour, Bronson Burgoon, Bobby Gates and Martin Piller. Higgins’ teams have posted the 11 lowest scoring averages in school history, produced five professional tour players and even succeeded in the classroom with three Academic All-America awards and 19 Academic All-Conference honors. Making their debut in the extremely competitive Southeastern Conference in 2013, the Aggies remained a fixture in the national rankings throughout the season en route to finishing fourth at the SEC Championship while garnering their school-record 11th consecutive trip to an NCAA Regional. During their last season in the Big 12 Conference, the 2012 Aggies left a lasting impression on the league as A&M captured the Big 12 Championship and Higgins was honored as the conference’s Coach of the Year. Higgins has produced six Academic All-Americans, twice as many as the years preceding his arrival. In 2006, Andrew Parr became A&M’s first All-American since 1997. Bronson Burgoon earned All-America honors in 2007 and 2009, Elvira made the team in 2008 and Conrad Shindler was selected with Burgoon in 2009. Additionally, Coach Higgins has a long and illustrious career with many awards and deep playoff runs both before and with Texas A&M University.

Higgins began his career in sports publicity at his alma mater, Eastern Oregon State College in La Grande, Ore. A standout basketball and baseball player for Eastern Oregon, Higgins also was the school’s sports information director during his junior and senior years. He graduated from EOSC in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a specialization in economics. A native of Meridian, Idaho, Higgins has three children: Ashley, Ben, and Casey Lynn.

Tana McKay, Head Coach TAMU Equestrian

Achieving Success & Goals

The only head coach in program history, Tana McKay is in her 20th season at the helm of the 12-time and defending Reining national champion Texas A&M equestrian team. During her time in Aggieland, she has taken the team from club sport status — overseen by the animal science department — to arguably the most decorated athletic-department-sponsored equestrian program in the country. The Aggies have won nine western riding team national championships in addition to capturing the overall NCEA National Championship title in 2012 and 2017 and the first-ever overall Varsity Equestrian National Championship in 2002. Under the current format which began in the 2017-18 season, the Aggies won the first ever NCEA Reining National Championship. McKay guided A&M to four consecutive western national titles from 2009-12, and her squads won four of the five western crowns awarded in the history of the Varsity Equestrian National Championships. Under her watch, Aggie riders also took home four individual national titles in the three seasons they were contested (2008-10).

Her leadership is not limited to the western discipline, as the well-rounded and highly-successful Texas A&M program earned reserve overall national champion honors at four of the five VENC competitions and the team grabbed the overall title in its first year in the NCEA. McKay arrived in College Station in the fall of 1998 to begin work on a master’s degree in agriculture with an emphasis in equine behavior. She guided the Aggies as a graduate assistant during that season. A year later, the Texas A&M athletic department picked up the team as a fully-funded varsity athletic sport and McKay was named co-head coach. A vocal advocate for the advancement of collegiate equestrian, McKay has been very active in its development as a varsity sport. She was the chair of the competition committee from 2005-2007 and has had an active role in organizing the rules and format for NCAA competition. In 2010, McKay served as the chairwoman of the Varsity Equestrian Executive Committee. She married Grant McKay of Wolfe City on June 7, 2008. The two are proud parents of twin boys, Tanner and Tayden.

 

Gary Blair, Head Coach TAMU Women’s Basketball

Achieving Success & Goals

Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame member, Gary Blair, led Texas A&M to the 2011 NCAA Championship and has transformed the women’s basketball program into a national power since his appointment as head coach in 2003. Blair, a two-time national finalist for the Naismith Coach of the Year Award, has guided Texas A&M to 13 straight NCAA Tournament appearances, and to four conference championships, including the 2013 SEC Tournament Championship.

Entering 2018-19, Blair ranks eighth in career victories among active Division I coaches with an impressive 765-314 overall record (.709). He is one of just 12 Division I coaches with 750+ wins in a career. In his 16th year (2018-19) at Texas A&M, Blair is the longest-tenured coach in program history, also owning the school records for wins (357), winning percentage (.703) and NCAA Tournament Appearances (13). Blair has more than doubled the win total of Lynn Hickey, whose 154 wins marked the school’s previous record for a coach.

Notably, Blair is one of only three all-time NCAA Division I women’s basketball coaches to lead two different teams to the NCAA Women’s Final Four (Texas A&M and Arkansas), and is one of eight coaches to lead three different teams to the NCAA Tournament (Texas A&M, Arkansas, Stephen F. Austin). Blair has won a championship at every level of his coaching career including three state championships at Dallas South Oak Cliff High School, two national championships as an assistant coach at Louisiana Tech, a WNIT Championship at Arkansas and a national championship at Texas A&M. Blair is a member of six Hall of Fames, including induction into the state of Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2014, the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2011, the Southland Conference Hall of Honor in 2009, the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjack Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Texas High School Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002. He was also honored with the 2011 New York Athletic Club’s Winged Foot Award, which is presented annually to the winning coaches of the men’s and women’s NCAA Division I Basketball Championships.

Blair has two children, Paige and Matt, and three grandchildren, Logan, Lola and Landry. Paige owns a children’s boutique in Fayetteville, Ark., and is married to Beau Thompson, head boys’ basketball coach at Farmington High School in Farmington, Ark. Matt is married to the former Alli Nielsen, and owns an furniture, gift and antique shop in Fayetteville, Ark.

Pat Henry, Head Coach TAMU Track & Field

Pat Henry, now in his 15th season as head coach of the Texas A&M track and field program, became the first coach to lead a school to three consecutive men’s and women’s NCAA Outdoor Championships when the Aggies accomplished the feat during the 2009-2010-2011 seasons. Henry was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in February of 2017.

Overall, Henry has led the Texas A&M program to nine national championships and 17 conference titles, with the Aggie men winning a second SEC Outdoor title in 2017.
In 2013, the A&M men claimed their fourth NCAA Outdoor Championship while the Aggie women garnered a fourth NCAA Championship in 2014. With nine NCAA Championships during his time in Aggieland, Henry’s total number of national titles has reached 36 on the Division I level. In addition, Henry also claimed a pair of national titles on the NJCAA level while coaching at Blinn College in Brenham.

While Henry is currently third among all-time national team titles as a NCAA head coach, he has achieved the most championships for indoor and outdoor track and field national titles. The all-time list is topped by Kenyon College’s Jim Steen, who has 50 NCAA titles in Division III swimming and diving, while Arkansas’ John McDonnell collected 40 NCAA titles between cross country (11) and track (29). The success A&M has enjoyed under Henry and the goals they have achieved stem from the strength of the program in the coaching staff that has been in place the past seven years along with the depth and quality of the athletes involved. Hiring good assistant coaches, who work hard in each aspect of the sport, has been a proven formula for Henry. “As a staff we pride ourselves on having an overall team success concept,” Henry said. “We continue to develop a program that is broad-based by getting good athletes in all events in both genders.”

The Henry’s coaching tradition continued into the third generation with Pat and his two brothers. Matt served as head coach of the track and field program at New Mexico for seven years while Matt’s twin, Mark, served as his assistant. A native of Albuquerque, N.M., Henry graduated from Del Norte High School in 1969. He received his bachelor’s degree in physical education from New Mexico in 1973 and a master’s degree in education administration from Western New Mexico in 1979. Henry is married to the former Gail Duggin of Albuquerque. They have a daughter and son-in-law, Shelly and Seth Daigle, as well as a son and daughter-in-law, Brandon and Brandie Henry. Grandchildren include Katie Ruth Henry and Morgan Henry, daughters to Brandon and Brandie, as well as Avery Daigle and Luke Daigle, daughter and son to Shelly and Seth.

 

Ricky W. Griffin, Ph.D. University Distinguished Professor, Blocker Chair in Business, Department of Management

Evaluating & Recruiting Talent

Dr. Ricky W. Griffin holds the John R Blocker Chair in Business and is a University Distinguished Professor of Management in Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. His research has appeared in Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Management, and several other leading journals. Dr. Griffin has served as both Associate Editor and Editor of the Journal of Management. He has also edited several scholarly books, most recently The Dark Side of Organizational Behavior. Dr. Griffin is currently involved in research projects related to the topics of talent management and emergent leadership and serves as Founding Editor and Editor-in-Chief of Oxford Bibliographies Online, an internet-based resource currently used by several hundred global university libraries. Dr. Griffin is both a member and Fellow of the Academy of Management. In 2018, Dr. Griffin received the Mays Lifetime Achievement Award for Research and Scholarship from Mays Business School’s Executive Committee, to recognize sustained and outstanding scholarly contributions by Mays faculty who are considered pioneers in their field. The Executive Committee designated this as the highest award given to a faculty member at Mays Business School. Dr. Griffin received his BBA in Management from North Texas State University and his MBA & Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior both from the University of Houston.

 

Stephen Courtright, Ph.D. John E. Pearson Professor of Business Administration, Associate Professor & Presidential Impact Felow, Department of Management

Sustaining Success

Dr. Stephen Courtright is the John E. Pearson Professor of Business Administration at Mays Business School, where he is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Management and a Presidential Impact Fellow. Dr. Courtright’s research focuses on organizational leadership, team effectiveness, and employee selection and development. His research has been published in leading scholarly journals and has been featured by The Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, Forbes, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and U.S. News and World Report. He is the recipient of several research awards and serves on the editorial boards of Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, and Journal of Applied Psychology. As an instructor at the undergraduate, masters, and doctoral levels, Dr. Courtright has received several teaching awards. He has also taught hundreds of executives from Fortune 500 firms, government entities, and other organizations. He earned his BS in Accounting from Brigham Young University-Idaho and his Ph.D. in Business Administration from the University of Iowa.

 

 

Andrea Gaston, Head Coach TAMU Women’s Golf

Sustaining Success

Andrea Gaston, a three-time NCAA national championship Hall of Fame coach, and one of the nation’s most decorated golf coaches, enters her first year (2018-19) as head coach at Texas A&M. Gaston comes to Aggieland after leading the USC women’s golf team for 22 seasons, winning three national titles, four Pac-12 titles, coaching five NCAA individual champions and earning Pac-12 Coach of the Year and the Women’s Golf Coaches Association Coach of the Year honors three different times. “We strive for excellence in all that we do and Andrea is the personification of excellence as the nation’s premier women’s golf coach,” said Aggie Director of Athletics Scott Woodward. “Her commitment to the complete student-athlete and her track record of developing world-class golfers and leading them to championships is unparalleled and we are thrilled that she will be joining the Aggie Family.”

Gaston guided the Trojans to NCAA titles in 2003, 2008 and 2013 and has finished in the Top 5 for the past 13 years (the longest active streak in the country by nine years), a span in which no other school has more than eight Top 5 finishes. Under Gaston, USC qualified for the NCAA Championships 21 years in a row.  Twenty-three of her golfers have earned a combined 51 All-American honors and the Trojans have totaled 79 All-Pac-12 honors during her tenure. Gaston was inducted into the Women’s Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2010. “Throughout my career, I have always focused on the student-athlete,” said Gaston, “and any success that we have had is because of their hard work and talent. Texas A&M is known throughout the country for providing a world-class student-athlete experience and education and I believe that the program has no limits to where it can go. I want to thank Scott Woodward and his team for giving me this opportunity and I cannot wait to get started.”

Prior to entering the coaching ranks at USC in 1996, Gaston was a highly acclaimed amateur and professional player, competing for San Jose State in the 1970s, finishing in the Top 10 of the NCAA Championships and qualifying for the 1977 U.S. Women’s Open.  After a 14-year hiatus to focus on a business career, Gaston returned to the game, qualifying for the 1994 U.S. Women’s Open and winning two California State Amateur championships (1993-94). Gaston completed her education at California State University, Northridge, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1980.

 

Chris Valletta, Former Texas A&M & NFL Quarterback

Closing Remarks

Chris Valletta is an award-winning entrepreneur, author, media contributor and former NFL Player. With a passion for using athletic-performance principles to achieve business success, Chris has developed an established track record of launching and scaling several multi-million dollar ventures. He is the Co-Founder and Chief Growth Officer of MISSION, the global leader in Thermoregulation (temperature control) for Accessories, Gear and Apparel for active consumers, and author of “Team WORKS!,” a book that converges athletic principles with business success – with the foreword written by President Donald J. Trump. Serving entrepreneurs as well as companies of all sizes, Chris is a sought-after speaker for top-tier universities, professional development programs and business teams looking for an edge in their performance.

Chris received his Bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication, Rhetorical Theory and Political Science from Texas A&M University and completed the Executive Program in Entrepreneurship from Harvard Business School. He serves an Entrepreneur in Residence for the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship’s entrepreneur-incubator program, Startup Aggieland, at Texas A&M as well as a Representative at Large for the Association of Former Students. He has served as an Advisor to the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell on issues of personal-conduct policy revisions and overall brand strategy. He is a regular independent contributor to Fox News, Fox Business, CNN and MSNBC on matters related to business, workplace performance, entrepreneurship and athletics.