Graduate Assistantship Program Introduced This Year

Graduate Assistant Ebony Dennis works with the women's basketball team head coach, Kevin Griffin.

Graduate Assistant Ebony Dennis works with the women’s basketball team head coach, Kevin Griffin.

One of the changes that the athletic department introduced this summer was the addition of the Graduate Assistantship Program.

Baseball, women’s basketball, field hockey, and women’s soccer have all seen the role filled on their teams.

The assistants’ duties are not limited to just coaching and schoolwork. They also have to take over roles that recently retired Phil Guengerich left open as the Athletic Events Coordinator. Athletic Director Dave King said, “When Phil Guengerich retired at the end of last year, we decided that instead of hiring one person to fill his position, we could use the graduate assistants to handle his responsibilities with game management and supervision of work-study students. We are now able to have four assistants working in the athletic department helping the head coach and taking care of a host of details related to daily operations.”

Baseball Graduate Assistant Jordon Smucker, coaching 1st base, exchanges a fist bump with Junior Kyle Armstrong after a base hit (above).

Baseball Graduate Assistant Jordon Smucker, coaching 1st base, exchanges a fist bump with Junior Kyle Armstrong after a base hit (above).

The idea to add the program came down to three factors. The first factor involved helping the coaches. With none of the coaching positions being full time, the department had to determine if it would be more helpful to increase the coaches’ role or to increase the size of the staff.

The second factor that helped establish the GA program was the experience that former women’s soccer coach Sue Kolb had as a graduate assistant at Bluffton University. Kolb helped develop the proposal for EMU’s program.

The final factor was the quality of the graduate programs at EMU. They are now able to provide the graduate assistants with coaching and administration experience at the collegiate level.

“So putting the ideas together, I believed that the quickest and most cost efficient way to provide the assistant coach support necessary to build programs was through a graduate assistant program,” said King.

Graduate assistants receive 18 graduate credits per year, a housing allowance for on-campus housing, a Royals cash account with Pioneer, and a $2500 stipend.

-Adam Posey, Staff Writer


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