Describe the qualities that your program is looking for in a potential student-athlete?
I look for mature, disciplined student-athletes who realize that there is life after collegiate sports. Although I want them to be dedicated to their sport, their teammates, and their performance, I expect them to be just as diligent with their studies and their other campus responsibilities. You cannot be a great person on the field and an idiot in the classroom and in every other phase of your life. It will ultimately catch up with you and expose you for what and who you really are. Are you a character…or do you HAVE character? The other thing I ask our athletes and students in my classes in regards to “character” is this: “If your reputation met your character on the street, would they even recognize each other?” Think about that one.
Could you give us an example of a current or former player who exceeded your expectations, highlighting the reasons that player excelled?
I think my most satisfying examples of former student-athletes exceeding expectations are the vast number of those who have graduated from our program and the College and have gone on to highly successful careers both in and out of coaching. After 30 years here at Defiance College it is difficult to highlight just one example but, as I look at the successes my players have enjoyed over the years, there is one common value that seems to stand out and that is confidence. Experience and success breeds confidence and that is what I see consistently in these guys. They were persistent, fierce competitors who were never afraid to fail. They never backed away from a challenge. They learned from their setbacks and got back up on their feet, ready for the next battle. Back in the day, we would play anyone who would play us and there are a lot of big colleges within an hour or two from Defiance looking for a game. That meant we got knocked around a lot but we also had our moments. And some of those moments were most satisfying. Think about how much of your life, your true blessings, your treasures are built around a few cherished moments. It is quite amazing when you think about it. Both the successes and the setbacks (I never called them failures unless we failed to learn something from them) made us stronger. We grew as individuals and as a team because of those experiences and I think that is exactly what the kids took from the program and are utilizing today in their careers. At least that is what I like to think.