#NJCAADay - Words from around the NJCAA

 "It means an absolute ton to me to coach at the junior college level. It's such a special level where you can make such an impact on kids in such a variety of ways. It's an exciting level filled with phenomenal student-athletes and outstanding coaches! I have a ton of pride in being a junior college coach"

  • Jeremy Shulman, Eastern Florida State Men's Basketball Head Coach

"I attended a two-year college out of high school because I thought the transition would be easier being that it's a smaller college. I also chose it because the community college tuition rates are much cheaper than your average college/university. Playing at the NJCAA level meant that I was more likely to play than to be sitting on the sideline. We can be competitive both as individuals and as a team. Most importantly, I knew playing on a national championship team would give me opportunities to play at the next level."

  • Krysten Stone, Sophomore, Monroe Women's Lacrosse

"Being a part of the Georgia Military College program as a student-athlete has been a great opportunity to improve myself. I have developed better discipline in my character, sportsmanship, and study skills. GMC is a program that gives individuals a second chance in athletics, and a platform to improve themselves for success later in life." Georgia Military College has done a tremendous job in creating leaders on and off the field by teaching a responsibility of duty, honor, and country in the athletic program. The NJCAA has done and is still doing a great job in the lives of student-athletes by creating a platform for them to compete, improve their skills, and develop for the next level.

  • Peter Agabe, Sophomore, Georgia Military Football

"It's been such a pleasure and a privilege to be involved with the thousands of student-athletes over the last 44 years, and then to monitor their successes. It is incredible to see them grow and become productive members of society."

  • Jerry Smith, NJCAA Board of Regents, Arizona Western

To prove it's an honor, you have to give it all you got in the classroom and on the court. (Being part of the NJCAA) provided me with the coaches and the tools needed to achieve my goals and teammates who are now my family."

  • Paige Garner, former Sandhills volleyball player, now at the University of North Carolina

"Rock Valley College and the NJCAA has provided me with the opportunity to push myself to the limit, while striving for success in all aspects of life, and to accomplish my goals of being a student-athlete.  I have developed lifelong skills such as being a team player, the value of hard work, and setting my goals high but attainable so that I may have a successful future.  I have loved my time being a Junior College player, and couldn't have chosen a better path." 

  • Breanna Crown, Sophomore, Rock Valley Softball

"Nothing is more rewarding then coaching at the NJCAA level . It's about giving kids a second opportunity in life . Many of the kids i coached , came to us trying to find themselves. Watching them grow as men both on the off the field is what made my job so rewarding. The majority were able to move on to a four year schools but there were some who did not make it academically , but they were able find themselves and became better people and were more prepared for the world."

  • Chuck Wilbur, former Onondaga Men's Lacrosse Head Coach

"I was very lucky as a coach back in 2000 to be hired on the original staff that started the program here are SUNY Erie Community College.  I coached here until 2005 and then worked on the University at Buffalo Staff for the next 8 seasons.  I was very honored to be hired here in 2015 and we have been building a very competitive and successful academic/athletic experience since my hiring.  Most of our student-athletes move on to the four year educational environment and I believe my job here is to prepare them for earning everything they desire and have passion for in their lives.  We stress education, character and work ethic at SUNY Erie above all other things.  I am very proud of this team, this school and the great football culture we work diligently to sustain and expand across our campus."

  • Steve Pilkey, Erie Football Head Coach

"I have had the opportunity to be a part of the NJCAA on many levels.  It's given me the chance to see first-hand the impact an organization can have on the lives of young student-athletes around the world.  I absolutely love the foundation and values the NJCAA has been built on.  To be in a leadership role for such an influential organization is a great honor."

  • Marcilina Grayer, NJCAA Board of Regents, Salt Lake

"It is fun to watch kids grow in this league, especially from freshman year to sophomore year," said Copiah-Lincoln Community College Head Football Coach Glenn Davis. "There is a such a drastic difference in their maturity level on the field and off the field from one year to the next."

  • Glenn Davis, Copiah-Lincoln Football Head Coach

"The most exciting aspect of being a member of the NJCAA Board of Regents is the chance to be part of a visionary leadership team that creates limitless opportunities for thousands of young men and women from not only this country, but around the world.  Someone once said "if opportunity doesn't knock, build a door".  The NJCAA has built a door that has allowed countless numbers of students to experience intercollegiate athletics that may have never otherwise been able to."

  • Gary Broadhurst, NJCAA Board of Regents / Mohawk Valley

"I loved my time at Iowa Western and wouldn't change that for the world. It provided me with lifelong friends, the opportunity to mature as a person, and of course allowing me to perfect my game of volleyball. The faculty and staff also helped me to graduate early and be successful as a student-athlete. I am truly blessed that Iowa western became part of my life and experience. Everyone made me feel that I was a part of the Reiver family from President McKinney, Athletic Director Jeremy Capo and of course Coach Williams.  I learned a lot there and I would encourage many people that are deciding to go to junior college to do so.  They should follow their dreams and enjoy the process! The year and a half that I was there made me become a better person and student-athlete. I could go on and on about how much I loved being a Reiver."

  • Caitlyn Cooper, 2x NJCAA First Team All-American at Iowa Western, Junior opposite hitter at No. 15 Kentucky

"My 2 years I spent at Tyler Junior College helped shape me into the athlete I am today. From the intensity and quality of each training session to the beautiful campus set up for you to succeed as a student and an athlete.  My best memories were winning back to back national championships in 2 undefeated seasons with a fantastic group of players who all went on to achieve great things. This opportunity was only created because of the NJCAA. I am forever grateful for the period of time spent here and especially my time with Steve Clemens and Chris Handy."

  • Dom Dwyer, Former Tyler Men's Soccer standout, now with Orlando City SC of the MLS

"Being a coach at the NJCAA level is an honor. I'm grateful for the opportunity to connect with new student-athletes every season. And to see those players continue their careers at four-year institutions is the ultimate reward."

  • Nikki Murphy, Harford Women's Lacrosse Head Coach

"The NJCAA is all about helping student-athletes be successful in the classroom, in the community, and in competition."

  • Brent Harris, NJCAA Board of Regents / Southwest Mississippi

"Being a part of the NJCAA has been both a privilege and an honor for me as a coach as it allows the opportunity for junior college student-athletes to prosper regionally and nationally with athletic and academic honors. It has been a pleasure to witness the cross country runners gain success through the NJCAA as not only student-athletes, but exceptionally respected young men and women with positive future goals."

  • Sarah Popovics, Hudson Valley Men's and Women's Cross Country Head Coach, former cross country student-athlete at Hudson Valley

"Serving in a leadership position with the NJCAA allowed me to see first-hand the transformational impact participation in intercollegiate athletics can have on our student-athletes.  Every day, I see potential at-risk students develop into responsible successful college educated adults, who, but for athletics, would not have had the opportunity or guidance to do so.  Our work at NJCAA is transformational for these kids and I am proud to have a chance to be a part of it."

  • Dr. Margaret McMenamin, NJCAA Board of Regents Presidential Advisory Committee / Union County

"Being a wrestler for SMC is like feeling like an underdog because our team is very underrated. I like being an underdog, so it's fun for me. Being a wrestler in the NJCAA is the same to me as it would be wrestling in any other division. I'm just thankful and blessed to be able to and have the opportunity."

  • Brandon Harris, Sophomore, Spartanburg Methodist Wrestling

"It's more than just playing a game. It's about telling a story of a group of people who come together to play the sport they love. The competitive environment makes it something much more than a game, it's what we live for. From starting off at a local rec team to being able to represent the community at a collegiate level,  it just makes me want to accomplish so much more."

  • Barbara Ferreira, Freshman, Union County Women's Soccer

"Coaching in the NJCAA is the purest form of teaching sport at the collegiate level. Coaches are player development specialists with an extraordinary ability to cultivate talent; with limited resources; in a short amount of time. Fortunately, we work with ambitious and talented student-athletes who chose the junior college route as an opportunity to invest in their own growth and springboard to the next level. I am proud to coach in the NJCAA; the most rewarding job in Baseball."

  • Robert Valli, Rowan-Gloucester Baseball Head Coach

"It means a great deal to be a coach here at the NJCAA level. I am charged with the opportunity to help student-athletes change their lives. Whether it's on or off of the court we take interest in their personal lives, provide structure, discipline and support where needed and help them keep themselves accountable when it comes to their individual success and set backs. I thoroughly love what I do and I'm honored to be able to do it at the NJCAA level."

  • DeVernie Winston, Hostos Women's Basketball Head Coach, 2018 national champion

"The opportunity is everything. It's gotten me to where I am today. Junior college, in reality, is the grind. I think that's gotten me to where I am today, with the hunger and the approach I have now."

  • Brandon Parker, Sophomore, Mississippi Gulf Coast Baseball, 2018 ABCA/Rawlings NJCAA DII Baseball Player of the Year

"Playing in the NJCAA gave me 2 years to build an extended family with my teammates and play the sport I love at a higher more competitive level."

  • Kaylee Brown, Sophomore, Northwest Women's Basketball

"It has given me the opportunity to continue doing what I love to do, which is playing competitive basketball. It has encouraged me to not only challenge myself on the court, but in the classroom as well."

  • Savannah Domgaard, Sophomore, Snow Women's Basketball

"I feel so fortunate to hold a leadership position within NJCAA, which has allowed me to grow not only as an administrator but as an individual. In return, I am able to challenge our student-athletes every day to compete in the classroom, on the playing field, and most importantly, to be the best version of themselves once they leave our campus."

  • Cali Crawford, NJCAA Board of Regents, Schoolcraft College

"Being part of the NJCAA for the past two years has meant being part of a family and making memories to last a lifetime."

  • Kaitlyn Lisenby, Sophomore, Sandhills Volleyball

"I feel very fortunate to have had the experiences that I did at Lake Land College, both in my sport of softball and also in the classroom.  It was the right environment for me to make an immediate impact and achieve success in both arenas. Getting to play at Liberty University and further my studies was my ultimate goal, that I was able to realize in part to my tenacity and hard work paired with great coaching and networking opportunities afforded to me through the NJCAA.  I feel very blessed."

  • Addison Baele, Former Lake Land softball player, now with Liberty University

"Being the product of the junior college system, I attended Harper College from 1969 to 1971, it was exciting to come full circle. I taught and coached at Schaumburg High School for 37 years and then by chance had the opportunity to coach at Harper. It is a great experience to work with young student/athletes at the junior college level.  It is very rewarding to see them move on to the next level and be successful in the classroom and in running. And then to see them move on to rewarding careers.  I am in my 46th year of coaching and it never gets old."

  • Jim Macnider, Harper Men's and Women's Cross Country and Track and Field Head Coach

"Playing for Erie means being selfless, knowing that it isn't just yourself out there, but a team and a family that relies on you. It has given me the opportunity to grow as a person and a leader."

  • Annaliese Ziemann, Freshman, Erie Women's Soccer

"Coaching NJCAA DIII volleyball for 28 seasons has offered me the opportunity to work with student-athletes at one of the most important times in their lives - when they are figuring out who they are, making decisions for themselves, and communicating, thinking, and living more on their own. Coaching volleyball has been the vehicle for me to encourage confidence, positive attitude, fitness, teamwork, and toughness in young women. It is an honor to be in a position to help mentor and guide young women in the process of becoming who they are. It's also just been a ton of fun competing and winning (and losing) and building relationships!"

  • Jane Peterson, Central Lakes Volleyball Head Coach, NJCAA Volleyball Coaches Association President

"Although winning the 2018 National Championship stands out as an awesome accomplishment, providing opportunities to deserving young men is still the most gratifying aspect of my 18-year career."

  • Tommy Snell, Mississippi Gulf Coast Men's Golf Head Coach, 2018 national champions

"I'll always be grateful for my time at DMACC and the opportunity to compete at the NJCAA level. Both have prepared me physically, mentally and academically to succeed here at Ole Miss!"

  • Molly Jacobsen, former Des Moines Area standout, now with Ole Miss

"Coaching in the NJCAA has given me the opportunity to be part of an outstanding college environment. To see young men and women be successful in the classroom as well as on the field and develop into young adults who continue their education and achieve their goals makes me feel good inside that I was a small part of their lives."

  • Tim Rooney, Lewis & Clark Women's Soccer Head Coach

"It's the dedication, hard work, and sacrifices that you make with your sports family that make playing in the NJCAA so memorable."

  • Tayla Sayer, Sophomore, Northwest Women's Basketball

"Clackamas Community College wrestling loves the opportunity to test ourselves against the best athletes and coaches that America has to offer at the NJCAA level!"

  • Josh Rhoden, Clackamas Wrestling Head Coach

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