Kennady Basdekis-Morin / Hilltop Views
Steven Cary was hired as the new head coach for cross country and track & field. He graduated from Valdosta State University with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 2011 and received his Masters of Education in Kinesiology: Human Performance from Georgia College in 2013. He spent eight years with the NCAA Division II Georgia College Bobcats; he started out as a graduate assistant and worked his way up to head coach in 2015. Before joining St. Edward’s, Cary spent the last three years as Southwestern University’s head coach.
Cary’s coaching philosophy centers around the student-athlete experience that focuses on the individual.
“I try to individualize things as much as possible,” Cary said. “Just focusing on the holistic approach to their time on campus, not just the running, but on their health and wellbeing and reinforcing good habits. As a team, if each individual is getting better and progressing in their event, our team is going to be that much closer to reaching its potential.”
Faith Brothers, a graduate student and a member of the team, sees Coach Cary as a positive influence.
“A big part of cross country training is individualization, and I feel like Coach Cary has already made it known that this is a priority for him to ensure we will all be coached to become the best we can be,” Brothers said. “Aside from training, he has already put emphasis on team bonding and keeping us close as a family, which I also feel is very important. He has an open door policy and makes sure to be available to all of us whenever we need him, and really just works to let us know he is here for us.”
Cary was inspired to start coaching in his junior year of college by Todd Smoot, a coach at Valdosta State, whose passion for the sport and the student-athletes led Cary to join the realm of coaching.
“I want to be able to give back in that way and be able to help young men and women achieve their goals in the classroom, on the cross country course, on the track, whatever that entails,” Cary said.
The cross country team competes at the Texas A&M invitational on Sept. 16 and then heads to Pflugerville for the Concordia Classic.
Cary has big goals planned for the team and looks forward to fostering long-lasting relationships with the student-athletes.
“One of the most valuable pieces to coaching is just being able to see an athlete — a student-athlete — through four years,” Cary said. “They graduate and go on to bigger and better things and still stay connected with them and be able to share in those next chapters that come after college.”