Campus Connection: Mike Theulen
With its teams winning more than 60 percent of their contests in 2006-07, the Western New England athletics department is clicking on all cylinders.
Director of Athletics Mike Theulen has spent 10 years at the helm of the program, helping WNEC become one of the Northeast’s prominent Division III programs.
Last week, Theulen was featured on Campus Connection, a recurring podcast on the Double-A Zone, the official blog of the NCAA. In the conversation, Theulen discusses the college’s athletics success, excellence of student-athletes in the classroom and the excitement surrounding the spring sports.
Q:WNEC has done an exceptional job on the fields and courts of play recently. What’s been behind the athletics success?
A: First off, it starts with our president Dr. (Anthony) Caprio, who saw the necessity of changing the course of events in athletics. Prior to my arrival, there were no-full-time coaches on campus. Little by little we’ve been building a strong foundation by getting very talented and young professionals who I consider among the best in the nation
Q: What does the athletics success mean to the college community?
A: It validates the fact that we want to have a strong process put in place in terms of giving a well-rounded experience for all of our student-athletes. More broadly, obviously the college has been caught up in this, they understand that our student-athletes aren’t only doing great things on the field but off the field they are achieving as well. Over 53 percent of student-athletes have a 3.0 grade-point average or better.
Q: It sounds like the Division III philosophy guides the WNEC athletics program.
A: Most assuredly. People ask me the differences between (Divisions) I, II and III and what I like to tell them is that this is the last arena for pure amateur athleticism. Nobody is receiving a dime for competing on a team. We want to teach life lessons through their participation in athletics.
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