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: Pat Nearing
- School: Dalhousie University
- Sport: Men’s soccer
- Position: Head coach/ Assistant Athletic Director
- Previous job/position: Men’s soccer head coach / Athletic Director – Technical University of Nova Scotia
- Hometown: Halifax, N.S.
1. How did you get to your current position, and what do you enjoy most about our job?
The Technical University of Nova Scotia (TUNS) and Dalhousie merged in 1996 and within that merger I was incorporated into the Dalhousie varsity athletics operations, first as a manager and eventually the assistant director. Took over the men’s soccer program in 1999.
2. Who has had the most influence on your career?
My father, he was a life long educator and spent 30 years as a principal. His dedication to the administration of the educational system helped shape my career. On the soccer side (38th year coaching men’s university soccer) was Terry MacDonald, who coached me in senior soccer and gave me the chance to coach in various senior teams in Nova Scotia.
3. What is your greatest sporting moment or achievement?
Silver medal at the senior men’s national championships (lost in overtime to the Vancouver Firefighters). Lost the final but was still a great accomplishment for that group of players.
4. How would you define a Dalhousie University student-athlete?
A serious student who is driven to succeed on and off the field. Ready to be a leader upon graduation.
5. What does success look like for the Dalhousie University athletics program?
Developing student-athletes who successfully balance the rigors of school and their sport. Driven to succeed in both and make significant contributions to the community.
6. What’s the biggest challenge you face in today’s sports world?
Creating teams that are able to balance the need to be successful students and high-performance athletes. Coaches need to set that balanced expectation and help student-athletes achieve it. From recruiting the correct fit for your team to developing young athletes into high-performance athletes and then transitioning your graduating players into contributing, successful members of the community. The whole process presents many challenges and produces great successes and some failures along the way.
7. Where would you like to see Canadian university sport in the next three to five years?
We need to keep building the brand to ensure we get the corporate and community support we need to be a sport leader in the country. We need to continue to build relationships with Provincial and N Sports Organizations in Canada. U SPORTS should be synonymous with success.
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?
Jose Mourinho (Manager of Manchester United) – we would talk about managing top level players in a professional environment.
9. What would you say to a sports fan who’s never watched a U SPORTS game/tournament/competition?
Come for the popcorn and stay for the entertainment – you’ll be a fan for life
10. What do you enjoy doing when you’re away from work?
Family time, travel