by Gabii Rothenberg
Question: What brought you to RC?
Answer: I was hired on as the men’s soccer coach. I’ve been playing soccer since the age of 5. I played college soccer down at Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana, and I’ve been at Oakland Christian School the past five years coaching the boys’ and girls’ soccer programs. Coach [Klint] Pleasant contacted me about a coaching position at RC, and things worked out. So I left my job at OCS to come coach here. Then Scott Samuels, who I worked with at OCS, approached me about being on campus full-time in admissions. So it started part-time as a soccer coach, and now it’s a full-time job in admissions.
Question: What have you learned about RC since arriving?
Answer: It’s a small campus, but it has a lot of great things about it. It’s a small community like I had back at Grace College. It was a tight knit community, everyone knew each other, and it was a great feeling to be around people you knew every day. Other than that, it is a great institution with a lot of great programs for our students.
Question: What does a typical work day look like?
Answer: Well, I’m still trying to figure that out. I come in the morning and look over my emails to see if anyone is out there looking for our school. Then I get a list of students who are interested who I will make contact with through email or phone calls. I try to get them on campus for a visit, or try to get them to apply online, or just inform them about the different programs. Then I leave at 5 p.m. and go to practice at 6 p.m.
Question: Where did you grow up?
Answer: I grew up here in Michigan. I graduated from Oakland Christian School in Auburn Hills back in 2006. I, unlike others, took two years off after graduating just to know what I wanted to do because I didn’t want to spend the money going to college. So I worked some jobs and helped coach at the high school. Then I decided it was time to do something, so I contacted Grace College and their soccer coach and was able to go down there and play. So I was there for four years and graduated with a degree in Sports Management and Business Administration.
Question: What kind of hobbies do you have?
Answer: Pretty much it’s just soccer. I do like to go home, watch sports, and hang out with my wife, but I don’t really have time to do anything else. I love sports, so just relaxing and being around sports is what I like to do.
Question: What is your proudest achievement?
Answer: I think my proudest achievement right now is just being a college soccer coach. It’s just one of those things. I played college soccer, and I thought it would be really cool to do that. I coached at the high school level, so it’s just really cool to be coaching on the college level. I didn’t know if it was going to work out at other places, so I stayed at the high school level until the right opportunity came along.
Question: What obstacles have you had to overcome?
Answer: Right after college, I thought I was going to just go into the work force, but that didn’t work out how I planned. I took some jobs that were not really a part of my degree plan, that was more of a labor job. So it was difficult just sticking through that to find a job that was right up my alley. One came up two years later, but I didn’t get it. But I continued to work hard and push through it. The year later, they called me back and offered me a job. So that was the biggest thing, not getting the job I wanted right out of college but sticking it out and being able to keep working hard.
Question: Who are your biggest influences and role models?
Answer: I have a few. My dad and my grandfather are big role models. The way they lived their lives was an example of how I want to act. The way they act, the way they act toward their spouses and the way they raised their kids are things I want to model as well. On the coaching side I have a few as well. My high school coach at OCS, Dennis Hopkins, had a passion for his players and would do great things for his players. My coach at Grace, Matt Hotchkin, came in and took a program that was at the bottom and built relationships and gave us tools to succeed. He was a real father figure for us.
Question: Do you have any pets?
Answer: I do not have any pets. My wife isn’t a big fan of animals. I grew up with dogs, and I love dogs, but unfortunately she does not allow any pets.
Question: What was your most embarrassing moment?
Answer: I don’t get embarrassed too much, but in college, our coach would make the freshmen go sit at a table full of girls at lunchtime. It’s not really embarrassing, but it was definitely my most awkward moment.