Coach’s Column: Robert Schultz, Track & Field

Robert Schultz (TheLorian)

My first coaching job was at Loras College in the fall of 1991. I was a graduate assistant under Dr. Bob Tucker (Head Track & Field) and Gary Wittman (Head Cross Country). I applied for about 20 G.A. (Graduate Assistant) positions after graduating college and was offered two, DI Northeast Louisiana and Loras College. I accepted the position at Loras and am so happy I did! Not sure where my life would be right now had I not. I never stepped foot in the state of Iowa before then. I expected it to be small town, flat and corn everywhere. What a surprise when I crossed that bridge to find a great city, lots of hills (which I LOVE as a distance coach) and no corn (at least in town).

While it was a new adventure, it was a tremendous learning experience for me in those three years. I have been blessed to spend the past 16 years here after returning to Loras in March of 2005 as the head men’s & women’s cross country and head men’s and women’s track coach. Regardless of how crazy 2020 was and has continued into 2021, I’ve learned that many things are constants at Loras College. It always starts with the people. It can be challenging to describe, but there is just something special about Duhawks. We have a tremendous passion for our institution. We like to have fun! We are very proud of our school. So much so that I feel we have a confidence about being Duhawks. Not arrogance (that’s another school that shall remain nameless), but a proud confidence that we are Duhawks and love to rep our school. The other constant is the sense of community. It was true in the early 90s and its true today. Duhawks are just friendly, welcoming people.

I worked at two other colleges between my time as a graduate assistant at Loras and coming back in 2005 as the head coach. I coached at Elmhurst College in my hometown of Elmhurst, Illinois and Lewis University, my alma mater. While I had a great experience at those schools, it never felt like Loras. I think it says a lot about Loras College that I left my alma mater, gave up athletic scholarships and a nice indoor track to come back here. Life is about people & experiences, not buildings and money. There is just something special about this place. I would put our homecoming up against any small college homecoming in America. Duhawks love to come back, see their friends and just be on campus because there really is no place like it.

For our current students, I want to encourage you to cherish your time here, even in these trying times. To be honest, the real world is overrated, that is why I have been in college since 1987. For all of you, your time at Loras will eventually come to an end, so take it all in now, while you have the chance.

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