David Mair, Staff Writer
The people most often overlooked in sports are the coaches. What becomes most highlighted and recognized are the faces of the athletes out on the field.
But athletes can never reach their success without having something, or someone to compare it to.
For instance Phil Jackson, a National Basketball Association coach, earned 11 titles with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers. Sparky Anderson, a Major League Baseball coach, won two World Series with the Cincinnati Reds and one with the Detroit Tigers (the first MLB coach to win a title in both the National League and American League).
It’s the leadership and management from coaches that help shape the greatness of the players themselves.
These excellent coaches can be found everywhere, especially at the Division III level.
Last week in The Mooring Mast, senior Sports Editor Austin Hilliker wrote about the significance of Division III sports from his lens as a Division III football player.
“Luckily, Division III can fill any such void [of playing sports for athletes]. With a strong emphasis on academics and an equally as strong passion for athletics, Division III is the best place for any athlete to play,” Hilliker said.
Division III sports must have more attention drawn to them because it is the last frontier of real student athletes.
Coaches are not just coaching champions of teams, but future doctors, writers, researchers and teachers.
Many of the athletes playing at the Division III level have the caliber to compete at Division I or II level, but they “chose a highly respected education over the hype of playing at a higher level. What’s not to respect?” said PLU Women’s Basketball head coach Jennifer Childress.
Men’s Basketball head coach Steve Dickerson agreed, saying “I enjoy coaching at this level because athletics itself is not a business but it is a spoke in the wheel of the entire educational process,” he said. “PLU does not exist because of athletics but athletics are a big part of PLU.”
Softball head coach Lance Glasoe also believes in the importance of Division III sports. “I believe what makes Division III appealing to student athletes is the ability to have balance in their lives, while still competing at a high level,” he said.
As for myself, though I exercise and am extremely passionate about the San Francisco Giants and the Portland Trail Blazers, I am not an athlete at any division.
Yet through writing for sports, interviewing numerous players, along with coaches of a variety of sports, I have come to learn something.
The athletes at Pacific Lutheran University are extremely hard working on as well as off the field and truly form a family bond with their teammates.
The coaches of the teams are here because they care about each player, instilling in them a mindset of hard work, dedication and love for your family that will carry them beyond their time on the field at PLU.
While I’ll never see the field as a player, I’m proud to go to a school whose players’ and coaches’ love for the game extends far beyond the field.