Coach’s Column

After coaching cross country and track at Loras College for the past 17 years, certain things just remain the same. One of those is Duhawks! I was a graduate assistant coach for cross country and track at Loras College in the early ’90s and LOVED my experience. I remember telling my mom the first week I was here in the fall of 1991 that I wish I knew about this place coming out of high school because I think I would have come here. I liked Loras so much the first time that my last coaching job before Loras was at my alma mater and I left there to come back to Loras. I left my alma mater where I ran and graduated from for undergrad, gave up the NCAA DII Athletic Scholarships that we had to offer, and a very nice indoor facility to come back to Loras. Why? One word: Duhawks. 

It’s hard to explain to recruits when they visit so you just hope they get a feel for it themselves when they come here. The sense of community at Loras College is second to none. The pride that Duhawk alumni have for this institution is second to none. The experiences had here in so many areas of life at Loras are second to none. All one needs to do is be around campus homecoming weekend to see how very excited our alumni are to be back on campus, connecting with fellow Duhawks, and picking up right where they left off last time. There is a tremendous amount of pride in being a Duhawk, likely because of specially shared experiences that we have all had. I have also experienced this off campus in schools, in airports, in restaurants, and in marathons! If you wear Loras attire, it doesn’t matter where you are, you get a “Go Duhawks” from proud alumni all over this great land of ours. 

Even now, as I write this, it is challenging to put into words; yet, all Duhawks know what I am talking about. It is one of the many reasons we have such a legacy enrollment at Loras. Kids grow up in homes where mom or dad (or both!) attended Loras, hear about their parents’ experiences, and observe the love they have for their alma mater. When it’s time to start looking at colleges, it’s no surprise that Loras is on the list and ultimately ends up being the destination of so many. Both of my boys attend Loras, and, while my working here certainly plays a role in their decision, I also believe that my experience in grad school and affinity for this institution played a significant role in their decision to become Duhawks. I am confident they are having a great experience here. 

Yes, education is important, and yes, sports are important, but what stands out to me is the four-year experience that people have at Loras College. Flocking back to Loras for homecoming, alumni events, golf outings, etc. are simply Duhawks trying to relive a little of that four-year experience all over again. As I said, it’s hard to put into words, but being a Duhawk is not a just a four-year experience: it’s a lifetime experience. Go Duhawks!

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