Up2Us Sports, with the generous support of several partners, will be launching Operation Coach – our veteran coaching program – in Philadelphia in early 2016. On Monday it was announced that ESPN committed $100,000 to the program, half of which will support the placement of veteran coaches in Los Angeles and the other half to support veteran coaches in Philadelphia. Josh Harris, Co-Managing Owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and affiliate of The Josh and Marjorie Harris Family Foundation, has also pledged an additional $50,000 in support for veteran coaches. Furthermore, the Philadelphia 76ers, with support from Toyota, have pledged $25,000 to place one veteran coach to support 76ers local initiatives, bringing the total number of veteran coaching opportunities in Philadelphia to six.
The Josh and Marjorie Harris Family Foundation has been crucial to funding programs in Philadelphia that support youth in some of the city’s highest-crime and lowest-income neighborhoods. In August of this year, they announced a $3.5 million grant to the Philadelphia Police Athletic League (PAL). The Philadelphia PAL, a multi-year member organization of Up2Us Sports, will serve as a host site for the newly hired veteran coaches.
Additionally, Drexel University Online will be providing support for Operation Coach and veterans in Philadelphia. Through their Yellow Ribbon program, Drexel Online will offer free tuition support for any veteran coaches serving in Operation Coach.