City of Residence: Bonaire
Occupation: Instructor/coach, Middle Georgia Technical College
QUESTION: Many arent aware there are sports at Middle Georgia Technical College?
ANSWER: The sports program started here in 2008. It started as a club sports team then evolved into us joining the National Junior College Athletic Association. Were in region 17 of the NJCAA which is the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association, a branch of the NJCAA.
QUESTION: What sports are at the school?
ANSWER: Men and womens basketball and intramural sports such as softball, soccer and volleyball. I believe were moving toward collegiate soccer and cross country.
QUESTION: The schools name is changing, right?
ANSWER: Yes. Were merging with the technical college in Macon to be become Central Georgia Technical College.
QUESTION: How will that affect sports programs?
ANSWER: Theyll continue, and well have a combined team. Its not settled just how all that will work out or what we might do about the team mascot name.
QUESTION: Whats the team name now?
ANSWER: The Titans.
QUESTION: Word is the mens basketball team has an award-winning coach.
ANSWER: I was named Mens Basketball Coach of the Year for Region 17/GCAA.
QUESTION: How were you selected?
ANSWER: The coaches within the region vote. I received a plaque during the region tournament but just as meaningful to me was that the faculty and staff gave me a basketball with the team members signatures on it. I thought it was just awesome -- it brought tears to my eyes.
QUESTION: How did your season go?
ANSWER: We won the regular season and were seeded first in the tournament but lost the championship game by four points. We anticipated getting to compete nationally, but it wasnt to be. In 2010-2011 we won the championship but were in a different association.
QUESTION: What do you teach at the college?
ANSWER: I started teaching here in 2008 and teach criminal justice as my primary subject. Ive taught paralegal studies as well. My background is legal. Im a 1991 graduate of Northside High School and went to law school in Cleveland, Ohio, and worked in a prosecutors office in Ohio. I love teaching. This has been a real blessing working here.
QUESTION: How did coaching come about?
ANSWER: Ive been coaching the team since 2009. I coached earlier in recreation departments and intramural sports. Ive had success coaching young people but really didnt get into it for awards or anything; I enjoy the kids and teaching them sports and the things you can learn through sports.
QUESTION: Do you have a gym at the school?
ANSWER: We opened a facility this year. Our president, Dr. Ivan Allen, has done an amazing job. I cant say enough about all his support for the students here. Hes a staunch advocate of this facility, which is a multipurpose facility with classrooms, a tutoring center and offices for teachers as well as the basketball gym. It also has a fitness center for students.
QUESTION: Being a non-residential, community school, are sports that popular?
ANSWER: This year there was a phenomenal atmosphere among the students and faculty and staff who came out and supported us. It meant a lot to me and the team to have instructors come watch and participate. We even hosted the tournament here, and of course that brought in quite a few people over several days. It was great having it here and great knowing we were bringing dollars into the area, too.
QUESTION: What did you do before the new gym?
ANSWER: We played at Fort Valley State University. They were very helpful to us, and it really shows the community support in our overall service area and the partnerships we have with other colleges and universities.
QUESTION: What does a sports program add to the school?
ANSWER: Its something our school and the whole community can rally behind. It gives our kids an opportunity to play collegiate sports that they may not have had, and it provides entertainment possibilities for people to come watch collegiate sports. We have some really talented players. This year we actually had the mens and womens players of year for the conference in D-Meco Rozier from Dublin and Ashley West from Perry. Our womens team won conference this year.
Compiled by Michael W. Pannell. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.