Inside Athletics

Alumni instill Berg Pride in their student-athletes

Alumni instill Berg Pride in their student-athletes

From April 6-12, the NCAA celebrates Division III Week -- seven days devoted to the accomplishments of the student-athletes in D3. The goal of the celebration is to raise awareness of Heidelberg and other D3 schools across the nation.

This story is last in a five-part series highlighting the student-athletes at Heidelberg University. It was written by Kelsie Vaske, a junior sport management major from Cincinnati.

For more information on Heidelberg's D3 Week activities, visit the D3 Week homepage.

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A passion for coaching has led eight Heidelberg University alumni back to their Sweet Alma Home where they mentor today's Student Princes to lead lives of purpose with distinction.

Betsy Hada '01 (softball), Dan Hartsel '03 (men's and women's golf), Ron Martin '75 (cross country), Jerry McDonald '76 (men's and women's tennis), Jason Miller '97 (volleyball), Tony Patrizi '04 (wrestling), Morgan Shriver '09 (women's basketball), and Joe Yoder '12 (track and field) all graduated from Heidelberg and are currently coaching their respective teams.

"Passion," Shriver states as the word that describes what Heidelberg means to her. Passion drives athletics at Heidelberg. As a Division III institution, there aren't scholarships to play sports. There is just a passion for the game that allows student-athletes to strive for success both on the court or field, in the classroom and in other aspects of college life.

As a student-athlete herself, Shriver played basketball and tennis and graduated with honors. Her experiences have assisted her in recruiting and coaching.

"Being able to sell my experience and my love for the campus and for Tiffin are important," said Shriver. "Having played two sports, I can show them that the balance is possible and that we, myself and other coaches, are willing to work with each other and them to make everything possible."

Heidelberg athletics are rooted in a strong sense of tradition that can be seen by these eight coaches who chose to return to their alma mater.

"I think in every program, there is a sense of pride that gets passed down to each incoming group of student-athletes," said Hada. "As a former player, I have the ability to foster the interaction between the women on the roster now and those who played years ago."

Hada, like many coaches, uses her connections with alumni to help her student-athletes find internships and career opportunities.

Coaching at a Division III school allows coaches to interact with their players on a more personal level; it gives them a greater opportunity to be a mentor and a role model for their student-athletes throughout their college career.

"Seeing a player grow over the time that they've been here is the best part," said Shriver. "It's also rewarding to hear about an academic accomplishment, achieving a goal or watching extra work come through in a game."

Thousands of student-athletes have called Heidelberg home. When coaches can come back "home" and instill the same values, traditions, and passion for a sport and Heidelberg into a new generation, it's a special moment. Perhaps this moment is best described in the university's fight song -- Undimmed by passing of the years, Heidelberg march on!