Roger E. Mast, men’s soccer coach and professor of physical education at Eastern Mennonite University, is now “Dr. Mast.”
He is one of two collegiate soccer coaches in Virginia to hold a doctorate, both of whom live in Harrisonburg, Va.
The other is Tom Martin, men’s soccer coach at James Madison University.
Mast began pursuing his doctorate in “educational leadership in higher education” in the fall of 2000 with Argosy University, an institution in Sarasota, Fla. Argosy specializes in distance and online education.
‘Earned his doctorate the hard way’
Mast did take one half-year sabbatical from EMU, during which he was a residential student at Argosy. About half of his courses were completed in residence, the remainder done online.
“I studied after the kids were in bed, often beginning at 10 p.m. and sometimes not ending until 4 a.m.,” he says of his six years of doctoral study.
Mast’s grasp of educational leadership is “equally applicable in sports or in academia,” he says. Mast believes that good relationships are the foundation for sound organizations, noting: “If relationships are good, problems are less likely to surface, and when they do, they can be more readily addressed.”
Mast also thinks sports are “great testing grounds” for young people, enabling them to strengthen their work ethic and self-discipline, while living up to their Christian values under pressure.