Athletic success supports the growth of a vital campus communityVictories in the athletic world can be an important factor in increasing the exposure of a university. Schools in what have long been considered “out-of-the-way” locations can benefit greatly from a team’s claiming the national spotlight or generating conversation outside of its traditional fan base.
This season, two of NNU’s teams have claimed a piece of that national attention. The men’s soccer team and women’s volleyball team have experienced amazing success this season, with both groups holding solid spots in the national top 25 ranking.
So what’s been the difference this year? “We believe that if we play our style of volleyball that we have a chance to beat anyone in the country. Believing we can beat anyone is a very powerful thing,” says Doug English, head coach of the volleyball team. Coe Michaelson, head coach of the men’s soccer team, added that “[Our players] have a great camaraderie and character within the group, and I think this translates into success on the field and the ability to consistently perform at a high level.”
Belief, character, camaraderie… these words are not thrown around lightly by NNU’s coaches. There is a genuine perception on campus that these athletes truly believe in what they are doing and who they are playing for. This also comes from a unique approach to athletics at NNU that is hard to find at many similarly-positioned institutions. “Every individual has different interests, and we feel that it's important as a coaching staff to be flexible whenever we can to support the guys in their other interests, whether that is student government, intramurals or a student club or organization of some type,” says Coach Michaelson.
By positioning their teams to allow their athletes to be embedded in the campus community, there is a sense of commitment that no team takes lightly. As a result, the teams play an integral part in adding to the sense of a growing and vital campus community through their success on the field and on the court.
“All of our academic and athletic programs strive to be excellent and do the best we can with the resources we have,” says Coach English. “Any time any of our programs is successful it gives us or anyone another reason to talk about NNU.”
And we love talking about our teams! Make sure to stay plugged into the success of our athletic teams and follow the latest in national ranking at nnusports.com.