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College of Physical Activity
and Sport Sciences

Kristen D. Dieffenbach, Ph.D.


Assistant Professor
PAS 253

Office Hours:

M 12-1PM
T & Th 11AM-noon
W 11AM-1PM
or by appointment

pdf_icon Curriculum Vitae

Professional Highlights

  • President of National Council for Accreditation of Coaching Education
  • Association of Applied Sport Psychology Coaching Sciences Special Interest Group Leader
  • Currently conducting grant research for the USA Hockey, USA Anti-doping Agency (US ADA)

Biographical Sketch

Kristen has a Ph.D. in exercise science with an emphasis in exercise and sport psychology from the University of North Carolina – Greensboro. Currently she is the president-elect for the National Council for the Accreditation of Coaching Education (NCACE) and the coaching science representative on National Association of Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) Sport Steering Committee. She is also the current coordinator for the Association of Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) coaching education special interest group.

Kristen’s areas of educational, research, and consultation concentration include coaching education, performance enhancement, professional issues in coaching, ethics in coaching, athlete talent development, and understanding and preventing underrecovery. She has worked on numerous grants, projects, and consultations in these areas for the United States Olympic Committee, US Anti-Doping Agency, United States Tennis Association, USA Cycling, USA Triathlon, US Paralympics, USA Water Polo, Peaks Coaching Group, and Carmichael Training Systems.

Kristen has published research articles in scientific journals, authored and co-authored numerous book chapters, and has written for applied publications such as Olympic Coach, VeloNews, and Dirt Rag. She is a frequent contributor to Performance Conditioning for Cycling. Kristen has also served as an expert panelist or consultant for features in publications such as Performance Conditioning for Cycling, Runner’s World, Backpacker, Bicycling, and Adventure Sports Magazine, and on the Outdoor Life Network. Together with Steve McCauley, Kristen co-authored Bike Racing for Juniors in 2009, a handbook for coaches, parents and young cyclists. She has also written or co-authored chapters for US Tennis, USA Cycling, U.S. Marine Corps, and Charmichael Training System coaching/leadership education materials.

As an Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology certified consultant (#193) and a member of the USOC registry of sport psychology service providers, Kristen works with a wide range of athletes and coaches as a consultant and educator.

As a coach she holds an elite level USA Cycling license and has earned a Level II endurance specialization from USA Track and Field. She has coached at the high school, collegiate, recreational, and elite levels in cross country, track. For the past 10 years she has coached recreation, elite and professional level road cyclists, mountain bikers, adventure racers and triathletes. She specializes in working with junior and Espior elite athletes and runs a regional mountain bike development camp for USA Cycling.

A former Division I runner and road cyclists, Kristen now enjoys endurance and ultra endurance multi sport racing. She specializes in 24-72 hour adventure racing events.