Louisville Athletics Give Leadership Programming a New Look

Tom Jurich addresses the student-athletes at the Leadership Dinner
Tom Jurich addresses the student-athletes at the Leadership Dinner

Sept. 26, 2012

The University of Louisville Athletic Department, as part of the LCare program (the student-athlete development and life skills department) held a Leadership Dinner last Wednesday, September 19, at the PNC Club at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. The Leadership Dinner was an opportunity to kick-off the year and recognize Louisville's newest student-athlete leadership groups, TEAM ONE and Team Elite.

Louisville Athletics first launched its inaugural Leadership Academy in the fall of 2009 as part of the LCARE program.

"After examining the current programming and needs of our student-athletics, teams, and coaches, it was clear we needed to reboot our leadership programming," commented Amy Seng, Director of Student- Athlete Development. "It is important to us as an athletic department to stay current with the needs of our student-athletes, thus we decided to change our leadership programming. The need was to effectively educate and empower our elite tier of student- athlete leaders with the goal of them becoming leaders and captains of championship teams while also preparing them for leadership positions post-graduation. With this vision in mind, we created TEAM ONE, our women's leadership group, and Team Elite, our men's leadership group."

Julie Hermann, Executive Senior Associate Athletic Director and Senior Women's Administrator opened the evening congratulating the student-athletes on their selection and introducing the keynote speaker, Tom Jurich, Vice President of Athletics. Jurich gave a motivational speech describing the characteristics becoming of a successful leader. He offered three key points of advice: surround yourself with individuals who challenge you to be the best you can be, pay attention to the attitudes around you, and lastly, how to use your passion to create and fuel your success. Jurich challenged the student-athlete leaders to build integrity, trust, and loyalty with teammates. "Loyalty is the number one trait. Loyalty is everything; it creates a special bond that's important."

Dinner was followed by an update of leadership programming by Amy Seng, Director of Student-Athlete Development. The update included the progress of Team One, the women's student-athlete leadership group, and what is planned for the up and coming Team Elite, the men's student-athlete leadership group. Programming for both groups will consist of gender specific as well as combined leadership training and education.

TEAM ONE and Team Elite will get exposure to not only athletic leadership, but also community and corporate leadership models. For example, last spring TEAM ONE visited with Melanie Cook, Senior Vice President at General Electric to learn about her team management. Both groups will visit Yum! Brands early next semester and attend Yum University's Achieving Breakthrough Results workshop. Other activities will include personality and behavioral assessments to build better communication and Q&A sessions with successful leaders in the community.

The night concluded with a student-athlete recognition given by Julie Hermann who gave a short speech and turned the mic over to the student-athletes themselves. The student-athletes introduced themselves, defined what leadership personally means to them, how the leadership program has affected them, and what they wished to gain from being a part of their group.

Erin Yenney, a sophomore on the Women's Soccer team commented, "As a leader you can always continue learning and always continue striving to be a better leader. TEAM ONE allows me to learn not only from individuals who have found success, but also from my peers. As team leaders we get a chance to come together and share our ideas and our struggles. It is an invaluable support network for us."

The complete list of student-athletes involved in the programming is below:

Erin Conrad, Field Hockey
Morgan Dunham, Rowing
Shawnta' Dyer, Basketball
Janaye Dzikewich, Lacrosse
Julia Fellerhoff, Tennis
Tia Gibbs, Basketball
Chelsea Hunter, Soccer
Emily Juhl, Volleyball
Sara Karlsson, Golf
Chloe Kiefer, Soccer
Gisselle Kohoyda, Swimming & Diving
Hannah Kvitle, Volleyball
Lindsey LaPorte, Swimming & Diving
Chelsea Leonard, Softball
Tara Lyons, Golf
Becca Maddock, Field Hockey
Katie Oliverio, Lacrosse
Chrisanna Roberts, Softball
Maggie Ruckenbrod, Softball
Erin Schneidtmiller, Field Hockey
Jackie Sherrard, Swimming & Diving
Marissa Thalen, Rowing
Amy Van Syoc, Rowing
Manuela Velasquez, Tennis
Erin Yenney, Soccer

Team Elite
Mario Benavides, Football
Alex Burtch, Swimming & Diving
Kameron Chastain, Swimming & Diving
Greg Cochrane, Soccer
Paolo DelPiccolo, Soccer
Adam Engel, Baseball
Andrew Farrell, Soccer
Jeff Gardner, Baseball
Michael Haefner, Swimming & Diving
Luke Hancock, Basketball
Michaelee Harris, Football
Michael Lippens, Tennis
Alex Kupper, Football
Luke Lovelace, Track & Field
Deiontrez Mount, Football
Aaron Nance, Football
Peyton Siva, Basketball
Will Stein, Football
Sebastian Stiefelmeyer, Tennis
Mike Stratton, Swimming & Diving
Cole Sturgeon, Baseball
Isaiah Trejo, Soccer
Maximilian Walz, Golf
Zak Wasserman, Baseball