Golden Gate JOAD Head Coach David Chan nominated for USA Archery Volunteer Coach of the Year

Golden Gate JOAD head coach David Chan is in the running for Volunteer Coach of the Year.  Between his tireless volunteer work maintaining Golden Gate Park’s Archery range, running our club, helping SF City College’s archery program, and helping kids with disabilities get into archery, David is a great choice for Volunteer Coach of the Year.

If you are a Level 2 coach or above, please take a moment and vote for David.  The nominating essay and instructions are below.

How to vote

David Chan, the lead volunteer coach at Golden Gate JOAD in San Francisco, CA is up for USA Archery Volunteer Coach of the Year.  All L2 coaches or better can vote.  Look in your email (or spam email) for an email from USA Archery around December 4, 2014 with a subject line “2014 Coach of the Year Ballot” and please VOTE FOR DAVID.

The email will have a link to a Survey Monkey form that you can use to vote for him for Volunteer Coach of the Year.

If you have any questions, you can contact Shabbir Safdar @ Golden Gate JOAD (


Nominating Form

  1. (5/100) Coaching record for 2014 (Win/Loss Record, Athletes Coached, All Americans, Olympians, etc.). Please include win/loss percentages or the placement percentile of individual athletes.


Our club is a recreational program with a few highly competitive archers.  We run a not for profit recreational archery program in San Francisco that is open to all people over the age of 8.  That being said, David has wholly adopted the USA Archery motivational system of achievement medals. 

Over the past eighteen months, 100 of our students have been working to earn pins.  Amongst all of them they have made 795 pin attempts and earned 469 pins.  They have also been prepared for external competition as well, as David ensures that we run the achievement pin shoots with timing and protocol just like a publicly competitive event.


David also tutors Level 1 and 2 coaches.  Over the past two years, he has instructed dozens students on their way to L1 and L2 coaching certifications.


  1.  (7/100) What honors or recognitions has the nominee received in 2014? (local, state, national, or international)?


David is a very shy person, and has not sought out recognition.  In fact, besides achieving his L4 certification I am unaware of any recognition he has received.  However we will be sending a number of letters from local people in the archery community that show that his contributions to furthering the sport have been recognized.



  1.  (3/100) What honors or recognitions have the nominee’s athletes received in 2014? (local, state, national, or international)?


One of David’s adult archers, Tony Morosco, recently earned the Bronze Olympian pin in the barebow category.  It is the first Olympian in our club.  True to form, I am sure David would say that it had everything to do with Tony’s dedication, and little to do with his coaching. 

David has two youth students that compete nationally.  Here are their accomplishments:

Katherine Pan (age category – cadet):

Grapestakes – 2nd place

AAE Arizona – Qualification: 26th Final: 17th

Eastern JOAD Nationals – Qualification: 40th Final: 17th

PAC Cup – 9th

State Indoor – 14th

State Outdoor – 8th

National Indoor JOAD – 14th

National Indoor – 21st

SoCal Showdown – Qualification: 23rd Final: 17th

State Ranking – 5th (2013 as a cub, 2014 results not released)

National Ranking – 29th


Patrick Pan (age category-cadet)

Grapestakes – 2nd place

AAE Arizona – Qualification 52

Eastern jJOAD Nationals – 90

Pac Cup – 15

CA State indoor – 17

National indoor – 92

State ranking – 10




  1. (20/100) In what ways has the nominee contributed to the advancement of sport?


David’s contributions to the sport of archery are many-faceted: 

Started/runs Golden Gate JOAD

He personally started the Golden Gate JOAD club here in San Francisco.  The club is open to anyone 8 or older to come and take a lesson (equipment provided) for $20.  None of the instructors or David are paid.  David is at the range for club practice every Saturday from 6:30am to noon, setting up the range and taking it down.  He is also there at the range during the week, maintaining the gear that we keep in a container there.  He also maintains all the club equipment, including arrow and bow maintenance.


Grooming new L1 and L2 coaches

I’ve participated in David’s L1 and L2 training, both as a student and as a demonstration instructor helping to teach the L1 students who need to observe other coaches’ style.


David not only teaches you the core technical information, but he grooms the coaches ability to understand what a student is thinking, how they perceive the coaching interaction, and how to effectively motivate them.  In one exercise I did with him for the students studying for L1, David had me coach a hypothetical student.


I thought about what David had taught me about coaching, and I proceeded to do everything “wrong”.  I checked my phone in the middle of a conversation, I said only negative things about the student’s form, I stood over the student who was much shorter than me, I didn’t listen to what he had to say, and I cut him off when he talked.


As much as we all laughed during this exercise, every L1 coaching candidate recognized the value in understanding what it’s like to be on the receiving end of a poorly conducting coaching session, and we all learned a lot from this exercise.


That style is classic David coaching style.  He always makes sure you’re feeling good about yourself while you’re shooting, because he knows nobody has to do archery.  They do it because they enjoy the sport.  If they no longer enjoy the sport, they won’t shoot better, they’ll just stop shooting.



  1. (20/100) How has the nominee contributed to the service of his/ her local community?


Maintains the Golden Gate Park Archery RangeSF’s Golden Gate Park has had a free archery range for the public since before 1987, maintained poorly by the city of San Francisco.  In recent years, David has stepped up to maintain the range.  Using money earned from lesson fees, David’s club has been replacing the bales at the archery range on a more frequent basis than the city was willing to do.  He personally coordinates delivery, installs them, and maintains the bale stands without compensation.


Additionally, David has been instrumental in working with the SF Parks and Recreation department.  He has successfully convinced them that the archery range should remain a free facility without reservation or fee requirements.  This is a rare benefit in one of the most expensive cities in America, especially considering that the city has attempted to alleviate perpetual budget concerns by monetizing every other part of Golden Gate Park.


Archery for kids with disabilities, scouts, church

David has volunteered for several years to help introduce archery at camps to children with physical disabilities including those with multiple sclerosis, congenital hand differences and limb loss.  Each year at Camp Winning Hands, a family camp sponsored by two local children’s hospitals, David works to coordinate volunteer coaches, assist in set up of the range, equipment and provides instruction for these special needs campers.  Many of these kids would never have the opportunity to try archery given their disabilities.  He works with occupational and hand therapists to develop adaptations to bows and releases and to provide a way for these kids to have the ability to play and explore archery in a safe environment.


Although less dramatic than Camp Winning Hands, David also runs archery programs for his local Church and local scouting groups.


Assisting with Community College of San Francisco

Archery coach Diane Nagura runs the City College archery program.  She says, “David Chan has assisted with the City College of San Francisco Archery program since 2005.  He is a valuable asset in working with the instructor and the students as he is a level 4 Archery Coach.”


Long response (500 words or less)

  1. (45/100) Coaches, especially at the volunteer and developmental levels, have the unique opportunity to teach and inspire their athletes. It is because of the influential qualities that are inherent in the role of a coach that it is important that the nominee embody the ideals set forth by their role of a coach. Referencing specific events and character attributes how has the nominee proven him/herself to be someone of distinguished coaching character?


From student and coaching colleague Shabbir Imber Safdar:David does not seek the limelight.  He would have never submitted himself for nomination.  He would not even mention it because he is so uncomfortable when attention is paid to him.  He spends his time doing the thankless work of coordinating with the SF Park and Recreation department, personally maintaining the 9 shooting bale stations at the public range, maintaining the club’s equipment, assisting other classes like the Community College class, and coaching the students in Golde Gate JOAD.


David trained me as both an archer and a coach when I took my L1 and now through my L2 study.  What I’ve liked the most about David is that he’s not particularly talkative.  He keeps quiet, watching his students, observing them, even observing their parents.   When he sees a student struggling with a non-safety technique issue he doesn’t always jump in and tell them to fix it.  Quite often he’ll explain to me that he wants the student to first master the technique he’s working on, before adding another variable.


Another thing I admire about David’s coaching is his open attitude about other coaches and styles.  There are a number of coaches at the public range and he is very, very clear that he feels that any student should be allowed to shoot with any coach.  While its true that David isn’t trying to build an archery coaching business, he’s been outspoken before that he’s fine if his students want to work with other coaches.  “Everyone should be allowed to shoot with everyone” is the phrase that sticks out in my mind.  There is very little of the territorial attitude you see when some coaches are working on the same range.


Some of the coaches I’ve met are proprietary about their students, possibly because of the revenue stream, but also just from an unhealthy sense of ego.  David does not have these traits, and it makes it possible for him to work with everyone.

From student and club coach Gerard Hughes (L2):


I found David’s program when I was first looking into target recurve archery as a way to learn a well-developed, evidence based archery system to complement and aid my longbow archery. David is friendly and unassuming. His knowledge, enthusiasm and openness were welcoming and his instruction made the concepts of the USAA system understandable and useful, without over explaining. He also brings a technical background and machinist’s skills to the table, helping archers not only tune their bows, but also to experiment. The USAA BEST, now NTS, system is one David has followed closely. He does an excellent job of teaching the parts most useful to archers of different skill levels.


Golden Gate JOAD, under David’s direction, has created a family friendly recreational archery program that has national level coaching available for those who desire it. He has upgraded and transformed the standard for recreational archery in the area, increasing the quality of equipment, and decreasing bow poundage for introductory lessons so that anybody and everybody has the opportunity to learn archery, enabling them to concentrate their first efforts on form and having fun rather than struggling with a bow that is too heavy for them to pull comfortably for the full session. David has put together what may be the largest collection of ten pound, full sized training bows outside of Chula Vista. The arrows are all intermediate level arrows, maintained as perfect matched sets.


David is constantly innovating – sometimes executing really useful ideas that seem obvious in retrospect, yet that few people have implemented. David is great at helping new archers set up their first bows. To advanced coaches, that might seem fairly trivial at the recreational level, yet David strives to help give people a leg up on getting the right gear the first time. To that end he assembled dozens and dozens of new sets of high end intermediate level spine testing arrows, in 3 lengths including bare shafts – the kind of thing every archery pro-shop should have but generally doesn’t. This is the kind of thing that clubs can really excel at, pooling resources to do things that would be too expensive to do as individuals. And, as it turns out, it’s too expensive for most clubs to do. Yet because David is so dedicated to helping others, he made this happen, and was willing to put his own time and money into it for the success of all the archers.


Gerard Hughes