Participating in collegiate athletics isn’t just about the opportunity to continue playing the sport you love. For 35 years Coach Cliff Gauthier has led one of the top gymnastic programs in the country at the College of William and Mary.
He recently passed the 700 win mark for his career, yet Coach Gauthier still like to focus on what he calls his mission:
“To use the medium of gymnastics to help people improve the quality of their lives by teaching them how to grow and to learn more about who they are.”
“The mission is the driving force of our team,” Gauthier said. “If all the guys buy into this and are comfortable with it, we’ll be quite successful.”
And that mission begins right away during the recruiting process.
“Right off the bat, a lot of guys get eliminated simply because they just want to be an athlete or they can’t afford the effort it takes to excel in the gym. A lot [of athletes] will just try to cash in on their athletic ability to go to school as a short-term investment. What I’m trying to get is guys that look at going to college as truly the real investment.”
I applaud the effort of coaches like Cliff Gauthier. The work they do to stress real meaning of student-ATHLETE goes a lot than just turning out a winning a team. It should come as no surprise that the College of William and May consistently ranks near the top of the NCSA Power Rankings.