By Taylor Glaze |Staff Writer|
Let’s look inside the Coyote athletic department.
The Coyote athletic department was recognized in the fall of 1984 as a part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
The university currently has 11 different sports teams.
There is men’s baseball, basketball, golf and soccer.
Women’s sports include basketball, cross-country, soccer, softball, volleyball, track and field, cheer and dance.
The campus used to have a tennis and water polo team but ended up letting the two go.
However, there are hopes to soon have a women’s golf team.
The athletic department is located in the Health and PE building on the north/east side of campus next to the Coussoulis Arena.
The arena was built in 1994 to replace the old school gymnasium.
The original gym is still open and normally volleyball and basketball rotate the use of both due to their seasons overlapping.
The new building is shared with the Kinesiology program and you can find the two departments overlapping.
The senior associate athletic director Morgan Walker is a former Division II football player who brings 13 years of athletic administration experience to the program.
There are a few different areas within the department, including academics, health and finance.
The first priority of being a student-athlete is keeping up with your academics.
The department requires a 2.0 GPA and there are regular grade checks. With most circumstances, some coaches do a better job than others staying on top of the players about their school work.
CSUSB alumnus Meghan McGarry is the current academic adviser for the student-athletes on campus.
McGarry tracks academic progress, develops support plans and mentors them as they balance the two aspects together.
The next priority is proper training, which requires the use of the the training room located in the basement of the department.
Sports medicine is a crucial part of athletics. The center consists of athletic trainers, family medicine physicians, orthopedic surgeons and other health professionals.
The well-being of the student-athlete is the main priority of CSUSB.
Laura Tropila, the head athletic trainer has been with the department since they started 32 years ago.
Along with training, she is CSUSB’s senior woman administrator and an associate athletic director.
Tropila and/or her assistant Pat Walsh attend every game for each sport to be there in case a player is injured or needs assistance.
“The athletic training room works in front of the players the most next to their coaches,” said Walsh.
Some coaches even make their athletes accept them as “friends” on their social media accounts to be watched as they represent the school.
There is anywhere from 250-300 students that the athletic department is responsible for each year.
A percentage of them visit the training room due to injuries, taping, prevention, heat pads and ice before and after practice.
Athletics are one of the most expensive areas on a college campus and there is a lot that goes into funding sports.
The sports are funded by the budget that the state of California gives each school.
The Coyotes also have corporate sponsors that include Baker’s Drive-Thru, Days Inn, the U.S. Army and Anheuser-Busch, along with CSUSB Alumni and the Coyote Bookstore.
There is also a portion of the department that focuses solely on fundraising for the teams.
Mary-Christine Ultan manages all the business accounts within athletics.
In terms of accolades, the teams have secured 22 California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) championships, 22 Player of the Year honors, 19 CCAA Coach of the Year honors and more than 500 individual honors.
At the NCAA level, the Coyotes have won 10 Division II regional championships, six of them won by volleyball and three Division III regional titles.
Sixty-nine individual athletes have earned All-American honors and the department itself celebrated its first 30 years of athletics in 2014.
CSUSB Athletics would not be able to properly function without the many men and women who work to run the department, the coaches who dedicate their lives to the teams and the players that represent Coyote athletics.