Dr Liam McCarthy, Senior Lecturer

Dr Liam McCarthy

Senior Lecturer

Liam McCarthy is a Senior Lecturer in Sport Coaching at the Carnegie School of Sport. He works across the undergraduate and postgraduate sport coaching programmes. He is an experienced coach developer with a wide range of national and international experience. 

Over the last decade, Liam has worked for national governing bodies (NGBs), higher education institutions (HEIs), and international sport organisations to support the professional development of sport coaches. This has typically been through contributing to high-quality coach education/development policy, programmes, and practice. As a result, he brings a breadth and depth of expertise to the sport coaching subject team. 

Liam has worked with organisations such as the Premier League, US Soccer, and Sport Vlaanderen to directly inform the ways in which coaches and coach educators/developers are supported in their roles. Between 2017 and 2021 Liam made significant contributions to coach education/development work in the United States of America, by collaborating closely with the United States Centre for Coaching Excellence. Most recently, Liam has been tasked with convening and leading an International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE) global working group on the subject of assessment in coach education. He is a graduate of the Nippon Sport Science University Coach Developer Academy, in Tokyo (NCDA).

Current Teaching

BSc Sport Coaching modules:

  • Research and Personal Development
  • Coaching Pedagogy in Context
  • Practical Coaching Pedagogy
  • Coaching Context
  • Final Year Research Project

MSc Sport Coaching modules:

  • Applied Coaching Project

Research Interests

Linked to his applied work, supporting coaches through policy, programmes, and practice, Liam has an emerging research profile. Most recently, in 2021, Liam completed his PhD at Leeds Beckett University, with the English Football Association. This work represented a critical realist informed evaluation of the FA Level 3 (UEFA B) in coaching football programme, with a specific focus on describing and explaining how and why the approach to assessment worked, for particular coaches, in certain circumstances. The product of this work was the creation of a bespoke evaluation methodology for exploring coach education programmes, and an integrative framework for assessment in coach education (which has been adopted by multiple professional sport organisations).

In the broad area of coach education/development, Liam has published a range of peer-reviewed journal articles (e.g., in the International Sport Coaching Journal, Journal of Learning and Development in Higher Education), book chapters, and shared work at international conferences (e.g., the ICCE Global Coaching Conference, the USSCE North American Coach Development Summit, the TGfU conference, and the AIESEP conference). Liam has generated income through research, most notably for a large-scale national Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) project in 2016. Liam contributes to the Research Centre for Sport Coaching at Leeds Beckett University.

Dr Liam McCarthy, Senior Lecturer

Selected Outputs

  • Vangrunderbeek H; De Backer M; McCarthy L; Buelens E; Ponnet H (In press) Developing Critical Reflection Skills in a Formal Coach Education Programme. International Sport Coaching Journal


  • McCarthy L; Roberts C-M (2023) A Project-led Framework for Coach Development in English Men’s Professional Football: A Premier League Case Study. International Sport Coaching Journal / ISCJ, pp. 1-11.


  • McCarthy L; Vangrunderbeek H; Piggott D (2021) Principles of Good Assessment Practice in Coach Education. International Sport Coaching Journal / ISCJ


  • McCarthy L; Allanson A; Stoszkowski J (2021) Moving Toward Authentic, Learning-Oriented Assessment in Coach Education. International Sport Coaching Journal, 8 (3), pp. 400-404.


  • McCarthy L; Callary B (2024) Assessment in Coach Education. In: The Routledge Handbook of Coach Development in Sport. Routledge, pp. 237-251.