Gianna McCarthy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The writer would like to remain anonymous to avoid alienating Ursinus’ Athletic Department.
Entering the 2022-2023 school year both the Men’s and Women’s Golf Teams, as well as the Cheerleading Team, were without coaches. The lack of a coach came as a surprise both to Golf, which is a NCAA Division III Centennial-Conference team at Ursinus, and Cheerleading, a club sport.
Senior cheer co-captain Grace Krewson, commented, “It’s something us captains were definitely not prepared to take on and had to learn as we went. It made it hard not knowing where we were at in the process [of hiring a coach] because we tried to start [the season] as early as possible but had to wait for other people to want to start the process as badly as we did.” Without a coach, the responsibilities of organizing their respective teams fell onto the captains, leaving them with an extra burden in addition to their regular course and extracurricular demands.
Kaylin Chen, sophomore captain of the Women’s Golf Team, also had some thoughts. The lack of a coach has “impacted [the team] because we have to plan our own practices, call, and set up our own tee times with the courses, pick out our uniforms, and try to coordinate everything ourselves. It’s hard also getting everyone on the same page too without having a coach to dictate things. We have been managing well on our own and we try to help each other out when we can, but it would be nice to have an authority figure,” says Chen.
The previous head coach of both the Men’s and Women’s Golf Team at Ursinus, Wes Hollis, was with the team for three years. According to an email from Erin Stroble, Director of Athletics, Hollis’ resignation became effective Monday, August 15th, 2022. The open position of head coach was then posted on Friday, August 19th, and applications quickly came in. First round interviews have already been conducted and finalists for the position have been invited back to campus. Stroble explained, “While the timing of this search isn’t ideal, I wouldn’t say it’s been difficult to find a coach, it just takes time to work through the process. I feel confident we will hire a great new head coach within the next few weeks.”
Although, currently without a coach, the Women’s Golf Team has a match Saturday, September 24th with Dickinson College. Afterward, the Men’s Golf Team has a match Monday, September 26th with Moravian College. Additionally, there are two upcoming invitationals for the women’s team and three for the men’s team within the next month. The Ursinus Athletic Department is confident a great head coach will be picked soon.
A new head Cheerleading coach, Kristy Pouchan, was recently hired after the resignation of the previous coach, Autumn Hudson. Pouchan has been coaching cheerleading for over ten years. “My favorite things about coaching are meeting and working with new people. I love witnessing the progression and growth of each athlete throughout the season. It’s a very rewarding feeling to know that as a coach, you were able to help someone else complete goals they’ve been working so hard at achieving,” said Pouchan.
Without a coach up until this point, the Cheerleading Team could not hold its usual summer practices or have a preseason. Cheer co-captain, senior Delanie Rogers said, “Doing everything ourselves has been hard and I’m so grateful that we’ll have a coach soon enough and that I won’t be in charge of everything anymore. I don’t think I ever want to be a coach after this experience.”
Moreover, without a coach or supervision, the Cheerleading Team has been unable to stunt, even at their practices. This means the team has been limited to performing cheers along with dances, spiriting, and tumbling at football games thus far. Junior co-captain Peyton Evans explained, “It’s certainly difficult to try and keep the team engaged during practices that may seem repetitive along with keeping energies up during games when we aren’t able to stunt. There are so many people on the team who are passionate about cheer and it’s almost been a defeating feeling when the beginning of the season is so limited on what can be done.”
The team eagerly awaits for Pouchan’s FBI clearance to be finished within the next week or two so they can begin stunting. As for both golf teams, only time will tell.