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Football & Asst. Lacrosse Coach Alma Mater: Middlebury '82 Years at Midd: 18

Football & Asst. Lacrosse Coach
Alma Mater: Middlebury ’82
Years at Midd: 18

Why Middlebury?  Why Division III?  Why have you chosen to stay here?After leaving Middlebury to coach at Tufts for a few years, I realized that Middlebury is a magical place and I like being here the best. I loved it here when I was a student and I wanted to stay here. As for division III, I believe that is the way college sports should be played. Kids play it for the love of the sport(s) and nothing else. 

What are some memorable moments in your experience of athletics at Middlebury?

There are so many memorable moments. Beating Williams and Amherst is always a great game. The NESCAC championship team in 2007 is very memorable.


What are your some of your most successful seasons? Who are the most exceptional athletes and people associated with the program that you can recall? 

2007 NESCAC championship and this past season were both two very successful seasons.


Have there been moments of disappointment in your coaching career?  How have your coaching methods and approach changed over time? 

Anytime you lose a close game, it’s always a bit of a disappointment. Also, with no playoffs, any game can potentially be a NESCAC championship game, so whenever one of those games is lost, that is a disappointment as well.


How have things changed since you began playing/coaching at Middlebury?  (Title IX, 1992 – NCAA tournament play, etc.)

When they got rid of the Norwich game, that was a big change as that was our biggest rival. Student athletes also get more specialized in one sport as opposed to playing two or three sports.


How has rivalry changed over the course of your Middlebury career?  Have changes in NESCAC membership affected those rivalries? 

Each rivalry at Middlebury essentially depends on which sport you’re talking about. Our big rival used to be Norwich, because they were the only other in state team that we really played. Now, I would say our rival is either Amherst or Williams, just because those teams always match up well with us and make it a close game. Usually has high NESCAC title ramifications.


Over the course of your career at Middlebury, what kinds of changes have you seen in the relationship between sports and academics (or other aspects of campus life)?

Not too much. Student athletes have always been keen on academics, especially at Middlebury. Student athletes specializing in just one sport is a little bit different that the way it used to be, otherwise the relationship between sports and academics are strong. Obviously, there will always been academic issues among certain team members, but for the most part Middlebury student athletes are focused on academics during my experiences.


What is the role of sports in the Middlebury education and how has it changed? 

Playing a sport at Middlebury contributes to the well rounded college experienced. (see next question).


How does athletics enrich students’ experience at Middlebury?

Athletes learn life lessons that are tough to learn in a classroom. Sports teaches adversity and a different kind of work ethic that can only be learned through being a part of a sports team. It gives the students a social purpose; it gives them a group to belong to which sometimes can help ease the transition into college. Also, being a small school, a large percentage of the student body are athletes which makes for good student camaraderie throughout the campus and athletes naturally can relate through sports.


How has recruiting changed over the course of your Middlebury career?  How has the reputation of the school or advancements in technology allowed the College to recruit more diverse student athletes? 

Recruiting could have possibly been the biggest change in my time here. We used to only recruit heavily in New England, but now with YouTube and email, recruiting a kid from LA is as easy as recruiting a kid from Boston. We can watch the highlight films of 1000s of prospects and contact them all instantly as opposed to the pre-internet era where coaches would have to go scout many games in person.


What is the connection between the team and the community?  How important is community service?  How has that changed over time?

The role of community service among teams at Middlebury has drastically increased. “Giving back” is something that I have seen most sports teams doing at some point during the academic year. Community service is very important in building character and creating a good reputation throughout the local community.


What is the relationship between the coaching staff and the athletic administration?  How has that changed over time?  Did you have a mentor or other collegial support when you came to Middlebury?

It is a very good relationship. The current AD worked his way up from coach, so he knows first hand what each coach goes through in and out of season. The relationship between the athletic administration and the coaches has always been good as long as I can remember but may be stronger now. My mentor as a football coach is Mickey Heiniken.


Tell us something about your secondary athletic assignment and how it has affected your Middlebury career.

I love to coach lacrosse but sometimes the work builds up and its hard to focus on one thing. Secondary assignments can be beneficial as it can be a change of focuswhich can be good after working long hours focusing on one assignment.


What would you like to share that we haven’t asked you about?

Another very influential person during my time here is Peter Kohn. I am sure he will be mentioned by several other students. He really was a huge mentor to me.


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