Coaches advise players through college career

By Laura Van De Pette
October 21, 2004

Paul Nasella

Cabrini sports teams attract athletes from the tri-state area and as far as California so it is no wonder that coaches take the liberty to play the role of coach and parent to their players.

The coaches at Cabrini take an interest in their players’ academic and athletic status. Many of the players feel their coach takes the place of a parent or mentor while they are away from home. They find comfort and trust in their coach. Megan O’Brien, a sophomore elementary education major and Cabrini softball player, said, “I have been extremely fortunate to have had two great softball coaches who have cared about me on and off the field. They have been supportive of every decision I have made and have acted as a mentor when I needed advice and support.”

One coach said he understands that many of his players are not from around here and he plays the role as “the parent away from home.” Ryan Greer, assistant director of admissions and assistant men’s lacrosse coach, said, “As part of the lacrosse coaching staff, it is just as important to be emotionally supportive of players as it is to be concerned with their athletic status.” Ryan Dunn, a sophomore lacrosse player, said, “The coaches will do anything they can in their power to make us, the players, feel at home at Cabrini.”

“We, the coaches, take team time to focus on academics. Their studies are as important as practice on the field,” Greer said. The men’s lacrosse team spends Tuesday and Thursday nights in the library for study hall and Greer often stops by the library to tutor some players. It is important the players realize the coaches are not simply athletic figures. We are their confidants,” Greer said.

Dan DeRosa, a freshman business major and lacrosse player, said, “The coaches are constantly offering tutoring to any player. They want to see us win games but they want to see us ace tests too.”

Another winning team, the field hockey team, is fortunate to be coached by a woman who whole-heartedly loves her players. Their coach Jackie Neary was thrilled to discuss her players to a reporter. The Lady Cavs coach of eight years said, “I think the best thing I can provide for my girls is understanding.” She respects her players as they juggle sports, classes and jobs every day and so she feels her players deserve some slack when lateness is involved and jobs interfere.

“The girls are daughters to me. We have a mutual respect that is rare. I treat them like adults until they give me a reason not to,” Neary said.

Neary stressed her best attribute, as a coach, is her “willingness to consider each girl’s individual needs.” With regards to Neary, Tami Scanlan, a sophomore elementary education major and field hockey player, said, “She’s a great motivator and role model. The best part is she has continuous faith in the team to win the PAC championship even though we are having a tough season.”

Cabrini has earned more PAC titles than any other college in the Pennsylvania Athletic Conference. This is a result of constant teamwork between coaches and players both in academics and athletics.

Posted to the web by Paul Nasella

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Laura Van De Pette

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