Over 140 Student-Athletes gathered together for the athletic orientation, held on campus August 23rd. Some were returning students, some were new to the college, but all seemed excited to start the year at New Mexico Junior College.
Vice President for Instruction Dennis Atherton kicked off the meeting, explaining that most student-athletes had received a scholarship – and that means that "we are paying for you to get an education!" He explained that their education was Number One with coaches, faculty and staff, and there are several resources to help, including the Academic Resource Center where free tutoring is available. For those hoping to be accepted at a D1 or D2 university, grades make a difference.
Dr. Atherton emphasized that he asks three things of every student: be at the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing. This means showing up for class, doing their work, and representing the college athletically.
Coaches and teams were then introduced, including: National Champion Track and Field, coached by Keith Blackwill and Jeff Becker; Cross Country team coached by Jeff Becker; Women's Basketball team, coached by Drew Sanders and Alex Furr; Golf team coached by James Berry; Baseball team coached by Jimmy Durham and Jake McCarter; Men's Basketball team coached by Brian Lohrey and Shaun Gutting; Men's and Women's Rodeo team, with new coaches Clay Bonner and Stewart Kinley; and the Athletic Trainers, under head trainer Nadia Leslie.
The student-athletes were then given a series of pocedural paperwork which guided them through the rules and expectations of Thunderbird Athletics.
The coaches, student-athletes, and administration left orientation with great enthusiasm for their upcoming seasons!