- How long have you been working at Chapman / how did you get here?
I’ve been here for 7 years now, 5 as Assistant AD. I was at CMS as the Running Backs Coach in 2013, but I knew coach Owens from my time as a student athlete and working summer football camps here in the OC. At the end of a great year at CMS, he reached out to our head coach Kyle Sweeney and asked if he could interview me for the WR coach opening here at Chapman.
- What’s your favorite story from working at Chapman?
It is hard to narrow it down to 1 in particular there are so many great memories… But I would have to point out the one about Will Simmons. He was a WR from TX. He played 8-man football, but he was an All-Star and top athlete of his class graduating from high school. He came to Chapman for film school and football. By the halfway mark of his sophomore year, he had worked himself into our WR game rotation. The week he was slated to play and have an expanded role in our game plan he tore his ACL. This injury came at the worst time for Will. He was just making his way onto the field and the season-ending injury really took the wind out of his sails if you will.
That didn’t stop Will though, his teammates were there for him every step of the way, he and I talked regularly, and he always brought up how good coach Owens, coach Ashton the other coaches and the guys were to him throughout everything. How it inspired him to stay ready to make a comeback. Anytime we spoke, I always mentioned that things happen for a reason and sure enough, as Will was working his way back to walking and running, he got word of an internship at CAA, one of, if not the best talent agencies in Hollywood. Long story short, because of PT and the required time needed to be properly available for the internship opportunity, Will would most likely have to miss Spring football practices.
He was all up in arms about the choice and I told him, hey football is fun and me and the other coaches and the guys will always be here for him, you know, once a Panther always a Panther. Just remember, ultimately you came to Chapman for a career in the Film industry. Talk it over with coach Owens and your family, but I think you should go after the internship and continue PT. Football will be here next year should you so choose to come back when you’re fully recovered. Sad to say, Will never made it back to the field to finish his Chapman football career, but he has since graduated on time, or maybe even in 3 years if I remember correctly, and he now works full time at CAA and is living his best life in Santa Monica, CA.
Again, this is just one of many, so I would have to say I love the stories that our players share with us about goals and dreams during recruitment to Chapman or simply put, why they decided to come to Chapman, you know, what they want to do once they graduate from Chapman. But when they actually live it to the tee and make that goal/dream a reality, those are the stories that become special.
- What’s the best part about working with student-athletes at Chapman?
I think we are spoiled as a department because our student athletes go above and beyond expectation in so many ways, shapes and forms. They are all self-starters, first in last out type of students and athletes, committed to high level academics and athletics. Eager to prove you can have and do both and still have a great college experience at the same time.
- What is the best moment from your seven years of coaching at Chapman?
Winning the 2014, 2017, and 2019 SCIAC Championships.
- Anything else you want to say to alumni?
Thank you for the great memories and allowing me to share some of my Chapman experiences, I ask that you think back to remember your Chapman experience and the sacrifice others made to help your goals/dreams become a reality. After all,
“Ain’t no party like a Panther Party!”
Thank you for your support, please know it is much appreciated and Thank you for being a Panther!