By Maggie Buterbaugh
Elm Staff Writer
Tyler Cotterell graduated from Washington College in 2013. Two people he works closely with, the Head Strength and Conditioning coach Jonathan Jenkins and Assistant Baseball coach Theodore Hurvul, have nothing but great things to say about him. “He has an unbelievable work ethic, goes above and beyond his job description, and does it with humility and integrity,” said Jenkins.
Hurvul said, “Ty was a very good student, very driven and organized. We never had a problem with him in the classroom, which only added to his image of a role model for younger players.”
I held a Q&A with Cotterell to learn more about his time at WC.
Q: What were you interested in when you were a student? What was your major? What clubs/ jobs were you involved with?
A: As an undergrad, I was involved in a few different things on campus. I graduated magna cum laude in history with a minor in economics and was a member of the honor societies Phi Alpha Theta and Omicron Delta Kappa. I was also involved with Residence Life, serving as an RA for two years and an assistant area director for one year. Finally, I was a four-year member of the baseball team, serving as captain for two of those years. Over the course of my six years at WC, I’m extremely thankful to have had the opportunity to be involved in so many different areas of campus life.
Q: What is your favorite memory of playing baseball here at WC? What was it like being team captain?
A: We made playoffs both my freshmen and junior years, both of which were incredible memories. While my junior year was more successful for me personally and overall as a team, nothing can compare to the feeling of making the Centennial Conference Playoffs for the first time in school history my freshmen year (2010). That year was especially gratifying because very little was expected of our team (from the rest of the conference). Having the Copportunity to play everyday as a freshmen and contribute to the playoff run was definitely very special. Out of all that I have done here at WC, by far the proudest moment for me was being named captain my junior year. It was an honor that still gives me goose bumps to think about, due to some of the great players that played before me who held the same title.
Q: What is the most rewarding thing about coming back to teach at WC?
A: By far the most rewarding part about coming back to WC is having the ability to make a positive impact on our student athletes’ lives. I have also greatly enjoyed the opportunity to get to know athletes from all different sports. As a former baseball player and coach, I found myself trapped in the bubble of only knowing baseball, however, now I am just as excited to go watch a men’s or women’s rowing regatta as I am to watch a softball game. Whenever I am able to, I like to show my support at as many athletic events as possible because I remember how much that meant to me as a player.
Q: Why did you decide to work here?
A: After I finished my baseball career as an undergraduate, I felt like I still had a lot of unfinished business in terms of accomplishing success on the baseball field. Therefore, it made perfect sense to be hired back as a baseball graduate assistant upon my graduation in May of 2013. In addition to coaching baseball last year, I volunteered in the weight room with Head Strength Coach Jonnie Jenkins, which ultimately led to me switching over to be a full time strength coach upon the departure of former Assistant Strength Coach Larry Kline (to UMass Lowell). Although I am no longer directly affiliated with baseball, I still feel like I have plenty more to give to the WC student athletes.
Q: What is the most difficult part about coming back to WC as an authority figure?
A: The most difficult part about being at WC has been making friendships with former teammates more professional with my status as a staff member. That difficulty though has been made much easier by having great colleagues in the Athletic Department.
Q: What is it like working at WC as the strength and conditioning coach?
A: Working at WC as a strength and conditioning coach has been an amazing experience. For the last six years of my life, fitness has been a passion of mine, so having the opportunity to be a strength and conditioning coach full time now is like working a dream job for me. Every day I am able to help prepare our athletes for competition and positively impact their lives from a motivational standpoint.
Coaches Jenkins and Hurvul summed up the connection between Cotterell as a student and as an employee at WC perfectly. Hurvul said, “The best part about working with someone that was once my player is reminiscing about the times we had during those times. Also, I am able to get close and become good friends with Ty, which is a lot better than being his coach.”
Jenkins said, “Tyler’s experience transcends multiple areas across campus and he has already built a significant amount of rapport with other departments at the college. Washington College, our student athletes, and I are lucky to have him here starting his career. There is no doubt in my mind that he will be extremely successful.”