U SPORTS sits down with one key athlete, coach, and staff member of each U SPORTS athletic program in our new interview series “Getting to know…”
- Name: Rob Godfrey
- School: Mount Royal University
- Position: Manager, Varsity Athletics
- Seniority: 8 Years
- Previous job/position: Men's Hockey Assistant Coach, College of the Holy Cross
- Hometown: Thunder Bay, Ont.
1. How did you get to your current position, and what do you enjoy most about our job?
I've been a product of really good timing; I first joined Cougars Athletics in the Fall of 2011 in the role of Office Administrator. That was our final year competing in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) / Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA), before transitioning to Canada West / U SPORTS. Shortly after our transition, I was fortunate to move into the role of Manager of Athletics and still hold the position (with some minor tweaks) today. Working to create an environment where our student-athletes have the greatest opportunity for success, both in the classroom and on the field of play, is what I enjoy most about this job.
2. Who has had the most influence on your career?
A few people have been incredibly important in getting me to where I am at today:
- My parents: unwavering support of me (and my two brothers) in everything that we did, but it came with an expectation that our commitment could never be questioned.
- Paul Pearl: former head coach at my alma mater Holy Cross. Not only did I play for Paul, but I also coached alongside him for four years upon graduation. He provided me so many opportunities to succeed in life. I am forever grateful.
- Karla Karch: current Director of Cougars Athletics & Recreation. As good a boss as anyone could ever ask for. Strikes a great balance between mentorship, challenge, and accountability.
3. What is your greatest sporting moment or achievement?
While a junior at Holy Cross, we upset No.1-ranked Minnesota in the NCAA West Regional in Grand Forks, ND in front of a sellout crowd of 11,634 at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
They had 14 NHL draft picks on their roster -- we had none.
4. How would you define a Mount Royal student-athlete?
Persevering, Competitive, Creative.
5. What does success look like for the MRU athletics program?
Like many other U SPORTS programs - the classroom, the competition field, and the community are major pillars in which we desire to be successful. We have continued to showcase our prowess in the classroom and the community, but have yet to reach our max potential on the field of play. More to come!
6. What’s the biggest challenge you face in today’s sports world?
Balancing high-performance expectations on the competition field with the numerous other stressors in a student athlete's life.
7. Where would you like to see Canadian university sport in the next three to five years?
In more minds at the high school and grassroots sport levels. Regardless of the sport, we struggle mightily in Canada to create a culture that sees university sport in the desired development chain of a high-performance athlete. In my NCAA experience as both a student-athlete and coach, it's remarkable the differences in how university (college) athletics is viewed between the two countries.
8. If you could sit down for dinner with one person in the sports industry (athlete, coach or manager), who would it be? Why? What would you talk about?
Kevin Plank - Founder/CEO of Under Armour.
In a world dominated by the likes of Nike, adidas, Reebok, and many others at the time, he successfully launched Under Armour in the late 90s. It's now generating $5 billion USD annually in revenue. I'd hope to dig deeper into the key strategies of an underdog (at the time) and receive insight on taking risks.
9. What would you say to a sports fan who’s never watched a U SPORTS game / tournament / competition?
Give it an honest chance. Come with no preconceived notions. You will leave impressed.
10. What do you enjoy doing when you’re away from work?
Since moving back to Canada I've reinvested in my passion for hunting and fishing. The fall semester is a delicate balance between family, work, and time in the woods with our dog Arrow.
I'm also an avid golfer, mixing in rounds whenever our 11-month old son Griffin allows it.