Caz McCaslinFounder and President of Upward Sports Follow @cazmccaslin
With a vision to create the best sports experience possible for every child, Caz McCaslin founded Upward Unlimited, the world’s largest Christian sports league for young athletes. In 1995, Upward Unlimited launched Upward Sports and has grown under McCaslin's leadership and guidance from several hundred children playing in seven church basketball leagues to more than half a million children playing in 2,500 multi-sport clinics, camps, academies and leagues in 47 states and 72 countries.
While serving as a church recreation director in Upstate S.C., McCaslin developed a basketball league that incorporated athletic skills for success on and off the court—including sportsmanship, teamwork, leadership, effort and respect. Eventually the number of children wanting to play outpaced the capacity of the local church gymnasium. Recognizing that his vision was to reach children beyond his local congregation with a first-class sports experience, McCaslin launched Upward Sports.
Upward Sports provides valuable resources that aid in planning, training and executing first-class, organized and detailed sports offerings. Upward Sports' values focus on faith, integrity, service, discipline and youth. Over the past 18 years, over 4.5 million young athletes and 1 million leaders have been involved with the program. Upward Sports now offers basketball, soccer, flag football and cheerleading.
Caz’s vision and desire to influence others continued to grow, and in 2012 Upward Sports created a performance division starting with basketball and volleyball, known as Upward Stars. This expansion is aimed at young athletes wanting to further develop their skills and participate in a higher level of competition. Within the first year, approximately 900 athletes competed on Upward Stars teams. These teams have won 9 major tournaments and 17 players have accepted Division I or II college commitments.
Upward Sports is the only youth multi-sports experience that offers "The 360 Progression" , a uniquely designed total sports experience that adapts and expands as players develop and grow in their personal athletic journey, creating individuals with strong character, confidence, and spirit. It is desire to provide a place to play for every skill level player from kindergarten through high school.
"Upward Sports believes in providing our players with the best in coaching and competitive experience—enhanced with an intentional focus on creating men and women of character and strong moral fiber," says Caz McCaslin. "Our aspiration is to broaden our program outreach to eventually meet our long term vision of four million athletes and one million coaches participating in a given year; and that each exemplifies the strong core values that have made Upward Sports a success."
McCaslin is active in church and civic organizations in his community and has served on the boards of the South Carolina Christian Foundation and Hannah’s Hope, which supports families in crisis. An expert on organized youth sports, McCaslin is the author of Every Child is a Winner, a book about developing childhood confidence to last a lifetime.
McCaslin earned a degree in education recreation from the University of Georgia. He and his wife, Leslie, live in Spartanburg, S.C., and have three daughters and two son-in-laws, Lauren and Colby Morris, Keighlee and Brent Buchanan, and Mari Caroline.
How do you know when your young athlete is ready for the next phase of competition in youth sports? Check out 3 things to consider.