October 01, 2013

Collaboration Key for New Athletic Hires

Front row, L-R: Jackie Clark, Katie Lane, Matt Moyen, Erin Phillips, Nick Vennochi. Back row, L-R: Arlen Galloway, Dan Russo, Evin Giglio, Connor Erickson, Greg Basmajian.

Ask Angel Ayres, director of athletics, about her department at Wentworth and she’ll tell you that it’s stronger than ever. She’ll also introduce you to a plethora of new faces.

Arlen Galloway (athletic coordinator), Jackie Clark (head athletic trainer), Greg Basmajian (assistant athletic trainer), Matt Moyan (assistant baseball coach and head men’s cross country coach), Erin Phillips (assistant women’s basketball coach and head women’s tennis coach), Connor Erickson (head men’s soccer coach) and Nick Vennochi (athletic communications assistant) were all hired this year. 

Two others, Dan Russo (facilities and equipment manager, and head men’s lacrosse coach) and Evin Giglio (facilities and equipment assistant, and head volleyball coach) were promoted from part-time to full-time status, while Katie Lane (head men’s rowing coach) moved from club status to full-time coach. The department is also interviewing candidates to fill open softball and tennis coaching positions.

“It’s been exciting, and we’re at a place right now where we have a lot of great energy and enthusiasm among the staff,” said Ayres, who this month marked her second year as director. Ayres related that one of her goals has been to ensure that every student athlete has the same experience, regardless of the sport he or she plays, including top quality equipment and facilities.

Ayres also said that she wants to break silos at Wentworth, not only department to department, but also sport to sport, in an effort to increase campus-wide collaboration. To that end she and Assistant Director of Athletics Bill Gorman have helped organize community service projects, student athlete workshops, and other volunteer opportunities that intermingle all of Wentworth’s athletes together. Athletes have helped out with causes benefitting Newtown shooting victims, members of the Special Olympics, and many others. One example Ayres shared is the work that students and staff have conducted with the Friends of Jaclyn Organization, which works to improve the lives of children with pediatric brain tumors.

“There was one little boy recently who needed to have an MRI and he was really scared,” she said. “A group of our athletes went to the hospital with him and worked to calm his nerves, and then they waited for hours until he was done with the procedure.”

Like the students they coach, the new staff members in the Athletic Department are already operating as a cohesive team and working well with their veteran counterparts.

For Ayres, the influx of new talent speaks to a growing program and increasing focus on student athletes at Wentworth, students that Ayres believes are extremely well-rounded individuals.

“If you work hard and stay motivated, you can really succeed here, and I believe that being an athlete and challenging adversity head-on really helps you find that drive to succeed in the classroom,” she said.

Looking ahead, Ayres believes there is still a good amount of work to do, but that her teams are getting stronger and constantly working toward a goal of being more competitive. “I’m very happy with our current staff,” she said, “and I’m excited to see what the new guys can accomplish this season.”

For more information about the Wentworth Athletic Department and the ongoing fall season, visit http://www.wentworthathletics.com.

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