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IFCS CCOE Team Member of the Day: Dave Grubel, Team Manager

Today we begin to salute our Continental Championships of Europe team USA members.

The 2013 IFCS Continental Championships of Europe, which will be held near Gerona, Spain, are coming soon. The event begins on April 4th! To help us all get ready for this exciting inaugural event, we are featuring each of our team members here on To kick off this series, our first CCOE team member of the day is team manager Dave Grubel!

Photo courtesy of Lynne Brubaker,

A 13-year veteran of agility, Dave does a lot of agility judging as well as competing with a three-year-old Australian Shepherd named Boca and a nine-year-old Border Collie named Killy. In his non-dog life, he's an online banking sales product manager. We asked Dave a few questions about his job as team manager for the upcoming event.

What does the job of team manager entail?

Dave Grubel: There are several aspects of the role of team manager. First and foremost, I'm there to ensure the team has what it needs to be successful once we hit the ground in Spain. Due to the accelerated timeline, the team has really stepped up to get itself organized prior to departure with travel, fundraising sponsors, uniforms, etc. Also, the team is grateful to Andy Hartmen for arranging practice facilities and time once we arrive.

Once in Spain, I'm the main point of contact for Team USA so the team can just concentrate on their canine partners. I'll set up drills to run in our practices, set up daily schedules, ensure everyone is accounted for at the event, attend coach/manager meetings/briefings, get courses, be there for each dog/handler before they go into the ring and when the finish their run, ensure everyone is walking the right sequence during walk-throughs, provide advice/alternative handling ideas or course strategies if requested, provide emotional support, and select the team members for the actual team events. It's a job of wearing several hats and being able to seamlessly go from one to another. I had a great coaching mentor, Rachel Sanders, when she coached the US Team last year in Texas (when I was the Assistant Coach) so I look to draw upon that experience in Spain.

Wow! That sounds like a lot of work! Thanks in advance for keeping Team USA on track. What strengths do you think the team brings to this international event?

Experience. Many of the team members have traveled internationally to compete so they are familiar with the ins and outs of international competition. Also, all are seasoned competitors, fully capable of running the courses we expect to see.

Have you been overseas before?

I have not competed internationally but I have gone over to Europe three times to watch and support Team USA for the FCI World Agility Championships. I also judged the World Agility Open competition in 2011.

Are you bringing anyone with you to cheer on Team USA?

Traveling solo on this one. Totally dedicated to the team.

Are you planning to do any sightseeing or other activities while you are in Europe for the event?

Unfortunately, there is not much time for me to stay as I have future travel plans and my vacation time is quickly being gobbled up.  I still plan on experiencing as many tapas as possible.

Any other comments?

I am truly honored to represent the US again in IFCS competition.  I'd like to take this opportunity to thank USDAA for placing their confidence in my coaching abilities and I'll do my best to help the team bring home GOLD!

Photo courtesy of Erika Maurer.


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