Faculty Coach of the Day
Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes
Professors don't always get a chance to see their students performing outside the classroom and away from the books. As Faculty Coach of the Day, however, faculty members get to see their students at work in a whole new way. Being Coach of the Day allows professors, nominated by the team, to be on the bench during a match to get a much closer look at their students' dedication to AU Athletics. In the first two years of the program, nine faculty members have been on the bench for field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, volleyball, and wrestling competitions.
Professor Bill Davies (SPA)
Davies was surprised by the "professionalism of the preparation, performance and attitude of all in involved. College sports in the UK are amateurish at best, but my insider's view of the Women's Soccer team was a real eye-opener. I was deeply impressed." Davies experience on a hot September day, has allowed him to make "new contacts with a lot of students and athletics staff." "It also made the whole college athletics experience more accessible to me, and since the day, I have gone to watch AU sports teams on several occasions. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity the team gave me!"
Professor Sue Marcum (KOG)
Marcum admits she didn't get out to many athletic events, even though she's had student-athletes in her classes. When the men's soccer team invited her to be Faculty Coach of the Day, she had the chance to learn about soccer from the guys waiting to get into the game. Knowing more about the game encouraged her to attend the next game, which then lead a field hockey game. Marcum noted that at the hockey game, students from the men's soccer team were there to cheer on the team and helped teach her about the rules of hockey. Marcum noted that her experience as Faculty Coach of the Day also allowed her to feel more confident recommending her student-athletes for internships, because she not only knew them academically, but through sports she now knows them as an all around person.
Professor Pam Nadell (CAS)
Nadell has had a few student-athletes in her course and even recalled seeing a high five one day in class when tests were returned. Her experience on the field hockey field helped her see her student-athletes in a new way. "I learned a great deal that day about my students and their teammates and especially about their extraordinary dedication to their sport. Our Sunday game preparations began at an hour when most college students were sound asleep. Surely, knowing of the game ahead had cut into the typical college festivities of the night before." Unfortunately the team lost in overtime at Professor Nadell's coaching debut, but "I left the field with renewed admiration and deep appreciation for the students who model the student-athlete ideal."
Professor Erin O'Neill (CAS)
O'Neill is no stranger to college athletics. Prior to life in academia, O'Neill was a student-athlete and coach. She joined the women's lacrosse team on the sidelines where she found, "For a magical hour and half, I was able to straddle the line with one foot in my past - as a collegiate coach and athlete- and one foot in the present and future- as a college professor. And realize that some of our best leaders on campus are the national faces on the field and sitting in our classrooms." O'Neill believes the Faculty Coach of the Day Program "allows educators to witness raw passion and to fully recognize that athletes are leaders that can bring this enthusiasm for their institution into the classroom."