Nov. 21, 2012
FAU Athletics is pretty quiet today and on a list of things to be thankful for, that might be at the top of my list for Wednesday. My car is in the shop, that I’m not thankful for, so I’m at one location for an extended period of time, very few distractions so my “things to do list” is getting tackled.
As we head into a national day of giving thanks, I can jump on the band wagon with the best of them. I have a fantastic life and have a job that allows me to meet some fantastic people.
So, carrying on with the Thanksgiving theme I begin my non-personal list.
1. Professional Challenges – just when I think I have mastered a task, Florida Atlantic grows, technology improves, sports are added, leagues are changed and events are hosted. It all keeps me interested and challenged.
2. Coaches – Every coach has a distinct personality and their teams normally take-on that personality. I have had the opportunity to meet some great people while at FAU, not to mention my husband. Every coach approaches their job with a plan of attack and a passion to accomplish. They keep me entertained and challenged.
3. Staff – You want to define team. Look at any successful athletic staff in the country. No job is too large or small. Things are said to each other that might not be said on any other occasion, and it is all forgotten when the task is over. There is never hard feelings, just a sense of accomplishments and a meeting for the next game or event. The staff humbly supports the students.
4. Campus – Many colleague complain about the separation between athletics and the “main campus”. At FAU, our office has the pleasure of great support from the University. We rely on other departments and find everyone ready to step in for the challenge. They always make us look better.
5. Fans – If you need a reminder why you work in FAU athletics, spend time with an FAU fan. While some would love to have more and more, I enjoy the FAU fans’ passion for the program and student athletes. They keep you grounded.
6. Student athletes – This one is obvious. Without the FAU student athletes, the athletics department would not exist. Sure there are days that you hope the coaches will to run them until they drop (for me it is usually picture day), but they truly are what make every day different and special. They are the reason to come to work.
7. Former student athletes – We often congratulate the student athletes upon graduation and move on to the next assignment. But, I’m not sure there is a better professional feeling than to see a former student athlete return. Their pride and accomplishments in life far out-weigh any victory that I have ever experienced. To know that they are happy in life and that their FAU experience played a factor is priceless.
We have rejoiced in several new hires this fall. We have celebrated professional athletes making a name for themselves in baseball, football and golf. But one of the truly great things for me to be thankful for was the news that a talented former student-athlete who had been dismissed from his FAU team, returned to FAU after nearly 10 years, to complete his course work and graduated on his own.
Today, one day prior to Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for the differences we can make in the lives of each other.