For the kid that grew up on Villanova Ave, here in Pennsylvania, it was a dream to have the opportunity to spend 5 years at Villanova University. I arrived at Villanova by way of Mike Tucker, who took a chance on me to be one of his football interns. A week later, we were in the trenches together as Villanova faced off against Temple University down at Lincoln Financial Field. The Wildcats pulled off a major upset and I thought to myself, “How lucky am I to be a part of this?”
As I reflect, there have been so many experiences at Villanova that have helped shape me. From intern to paid intern to full time strength coach the responsibilities grew, as did the excitement to come to work each week. I have experienced some of the highest of highs as well as some challenging lows. I have been a part of struggling team as well as championship teams. Villanova taught me how to work. My first two years our staff was regularly putting in 12-hour days to help build this department. I was fortunate to work with an incredible staff, consisting of 5 employees, which has now grown to 9, and is one of the top performance staffs in the United States. I wouldn’t say that if I didn’t mean it. That staff represents so much more than set, reps and warm-ups. They are the north star for Villanova’s athletic department. A team that the athletes, coaches and administration can and will continue to lean on.
Like any athletic department there was turnover, but less than normal for most departments. When employees moved on it usually came as a shock to others. Why? Because Villanova is a place that is hard to leave. From administration to coaches to players this place is top notch. A University built on the following core values:
Unitas – Oneness
Caritas – Love and compassion
Veritas – Truth
These words are inscribed on the athletic building’s walls, with a real purpose. Villanova makes you feel that you are a part of a family, a oneness. From academics to sport competitions, there is a great sense of truthfulness, love and compassion on display each day.
For me there were a lot of emotions tied into my decision to leave; Why? Nova is a place you very quickly become attached to. It is a fun place to work. The kids exceed expectations. The staff and administration create a community that you never want to leave. That being said, I’ve decided to transition my career, to make a bigger impact beyond the four walls of the Villanova weight room. I have a desire to educate fitness, finance and leadership at a larger scale. I was fortunate to spend five years at Villanova and gradate with my MBA. Villanova has taught me life lessons and will forever be a home for me. I can’t thank the athletes, coaches and administration enough for taking a chance and accepting me as one of their own. I always wanted to be a part of Villanova University, and now I can always say that I am. I just hope my impact on the University was as great as it was on me.
This isn’t goodbye this is see you later!
Once a wildcat always a wildcat!