When you’re a coach at the college level, it is about more than just the next game played. Parents look at coaches to help their kids mature and keep them on the right track while they are away at school. As coaches are figures whom students will be seeing often, it is important that a coach be a role model, a motivator, someone who pushes you to become better even when there is doubt in yourself.
It is not an easy position to hold at all, as it comes with many responsibilities.
So what attracted some of the head coaches here at Cabrini to the job?
Coach Tim McDonald has been here at Cabrini University for the last seven years. He started as assistant coach for Cabrini back in 2010 and became the sixth head coach in Cabrini’s men’s basketball history in 2014. In his first year as head coach, McDonald led the Cavaliers to their seventh consecutive appearance in the Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) championship game, an event that ended with an overtime loss. He is 52-29 in overall play since becoming a head coach for the Cavaliers.
“I love having interactions with the guys here.” McDonald said. “Meeting them when they are in high school to get them to come here and helping them grow, not just on the court but in the classroom as well. I always wanted to coach, even when I played in high school. I looked into coaching when I was in college and then when I graduated I started at the high school coaching level and then ended up coaching in the college level. I love it here and I love coaching.”
Coach Jackie Neary has been a coach here at Cabrini University for 21 years. She coaches both women’s lacrosse and field hockey. Neary started the women’s lacrosse program at Cabrini from scratch in 1997. One year later, the Cavaliers had their first undefeated season, finishing 15-0 overall. Since then, Neary has guided the Blue & White to 14 CSAC titles in women’s lacrosse, including a run of eight straight crowns from 1998-2005 and from 2009 on. She also has four CSAC championships with the field hockey team, the last one coming in their latest season.
“I love it. It’s my passion,” Neary said. “I started the women’s lacrosse program 21 years ago when I got here. I kind of fell into the hockey position. Someone had stepped down and they needed a coach. I decided to take it because I knew most of the players. A good amount of the girls that play women’s lacrosse will play field hockey as well. I wasn’t thinking about just being a coach but when I graduated from Temple I kind of fell into it and fell in love with it.”
Coach Steve Colfer has been here since the spring of 1997 starting as an assistant coach while he was in grad school.
“Throughout the 21 years, I moved throughout being an assistant coach to a head coach,” Colfer said.
Colfer has won 16 CSAC championships since he became head coach here at Cabrini. In his 16 seasons here at Cabrini, Colfer has amassed a record of 228-63, good for the most wins in Cabrini’s men’s lacrosse history.
“I love being involved in the development of young men from the ages of 18-22, in the sport of lacrosse,” Colfer said. “I look at myself as an educator and the structure of how I run my practices. We work with our players for academic and career choices, growth and development. Thats why I stick with this because I love working with these boys. It’s a new group every year, I call each year a one year project. Coaching is only one part of this job, growing with them and helping them grow is the big part of this job. I don’t go to work regretting what I do, It’s been such a reward to do what I do.”
“If you love what you do it doesn’t feel like a job; it feels like you’re stealing money,” Colfer said.