By: Anton Krieger
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Cleveland State University’s athletic programs has been felt by players and coaches alike. To give the CSU community a current insight on the various athletic programs, the coaches gathered for an hour-long video conferencing “roundtable event” that was facilitated by the athletics department. The event shed some light on the coaches’ personal experiences throughout the pandemic.
The coaches lamented about their short-lived seasons that ended during the spring semester. During the roundtable, second-year Track and Field Head Coach Amber Williams said she feels as though since the season very abruptly ended there is lots of ground to makeup with the remaining girls on the team.
“I just feel like there was so much unfinished business last year.” “I’m just looking forward to… being able to really see what I can build within these young women from the ground up, and finish what we started with some of them,” Williams said.
Head coach of women’s golf, Taylor Riggs, shared a similar story of his first season as head coach being cut short as well.
“It kinda ‘stunk’ being down in spring break in Orlando and getting that call to come home. It was one of those things that was kind of bizarre,” said Riggs.
Despite the difficult procedures, coach Riggs offered a silver lining with his team’s preparation for next season.
“This fall has been an interesting fall for us because it’s very rare for us to go a long period of time without playing. So the approach we have kind of taken as a program is ‘how much growth can we have from a player development standpoint heading into the spring season?’ This fall was a unique opportunity for our players to work on specific things,” Riggs stated.
Men’s basketball has already started practice back on the court, according to head coach of the men’s basketball team, Dennis Gates. He talked about how his players have been great in handling the pandemic and guidelines.
“The schedule and the NCAA have constantly and consistently changed the requirements. They have done an unbelievable job, they were patient and it’s a change. It’s one of those changes where their world is getting flipped upside down in terms of behavioral patterns and socialization on campus,” Gates said.
“My hat’s off to my guys, they have done an unbelievable job,” Gates continued.
The CSU coaching staff seems in great spirits and are taking every opportunity to train with the team before the Horizon League’s “all clear” to begin regular seasons.