Throughout the 2017-18 season, 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: Scott McRoberts
School: University of Guelph
Position: Director of Athletics
Seniority: Two years
Previous job/position: Director of Athletics and Recreation, University of Toronto Scarborough
Hometown: Burlington, Ont.
1. How did you get to your current position, and what do you enjoy most about your job?
It was seizing the opportunity to learn, grow and take risks in various roles with first class institutions both in the United States and Canada. The best part of my role is the daily interaction with our student athletes and coaches. Their persistence for excellence both on and off the field is inspiring, especially when you can help make a difference.
2. Who has had the most influence on your career?
Outside of my mother who is a clear No.1, for her unwavering support along with my wife, I would have to say there are a number of people. To get to this coveted role, there are a lot of great people that have helped me along the way, and whom I still continue to lean on at times. Early on in my career, the senior administration both at University of San Francisco and the deputy athletic director at Stanford have been and continue to always be a sounding board for me.
3. What is your greatest sporting moment or achievement?
There are some great moments, I truly enjoyed running the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 NCAA basketball tournament in 2007 and sitting on the Board of Directors for the 2011 World Junior Hockey Championship. However, as a player, it would be representing the University of San Francisco (USF) at the USTA Western Club Championships beating Stanford in the finals on their home court, giving USF their first title. The Director at USF at the time was a former pro tennis player, so I know it meant a lot to him too!
4. How would you define a University of Guelph student-athlete?
Determined, resilient, respectful, authentic, engaged and caring
5. What does success look like for the University of Guelph athletics program?
Success for our athletic department means excellence both on the athletic field and in the classroom. To be top in the country in athletic achievement as well as academic measures such as graduation rates, along with OUA and U SPORTS academic achievements.
6. What’s the biggest challenge you face in today’s sports world?
The increasing cost to successfully compete at the intercollegiate level and the rising number of support services that are critical to student athlete success on and off the court in order to see them graduate.
7. Where would you like to see Canadian university sport in the next three to five years?
To see it more readily discussed and national attention in all aspects of media, as well as a greater focus on our female athletes and sustainability of the program.
Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.
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?
I would say Nelson Mandela, because we talk about culture, change, workplace and this man was able to impact not just a country but a world. His legacy still lives on. I think in an hour with him, you would learn a lot. Moreso, I would delve in to his passion of sport. He was well known for the quote that many speak of today: “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.” I truly believe that.
9. What would you say to a sports fan who’s never watched a U SPORTS game/tournament/competition?
You are missing out. The competition level is outstanding and watch one game and you will be in awe. It is also great to see so many different sports. Many people watch the Olympics because they don’t readily get to see those sports on a regular basis. With U SPORTS, you can see them consistently.
10. What do you enjoy doing when you’re away from work?
A clear No.1 here: spending time with my wife, two boys and two dogs!