By Kylie Garrett
Players and coaches aren’t the only thing new to the athletic department this fall. Debbie DeJong has taken over as athletic director, replacing Bryan Collins, who remains the head football coach.
As Athletic Director, DeJong oversees 25 sports teams and everything that falls underneath them. She leads the coaching staff to make sure that athletes are being successful in the classroom as well as socially. DeJong prides herself on making and reaching goals for the athletic department. “When we meet a goal, we raise the bar up again to meet our next goal,” she said.
DeJong has plans for Post. She believes that the athletic program is successful and will continue to be successful, but she is not one to settle. She wants to have more speakers come in, more leadership forums, more involvement in the national student athlete advisory committee, and more community service involvement as an athletic program. She wants to get all student athletes to be more involved in a larger landscape than just on the field. “She has already had a speaker come and talk to the athletes about sexual assault and it’s only been a month of school,” Rob Andreoli, a senior baseball player, said. “So I think this is what our athletic program needs and I think she’s doing a good job so far.”
DeJong was a Division 1 college softball player at Rutgers University. She started coaching after college, and continued to do on and off until 2013. She came to Post that year as the associate athletic director for compliance, until her promotion this year. “I think to come in and become the boss of your peers is a hard thing to do, but she’s doing a great job at it this far. She has a different vision, she is pro student athlete and she has made that very clear,” Deirdre Moore, head women’s basketball coach, said.
One thing DeJong wants is to make sure she helps coaches mentor and teach young students. Moore said DeJong is definitely on her way to achieving that goal. “She came in on a Friday morning and talked one on one with my team about how to be a leader and how to be successful as a unit.” Being able to have a direct impact on the students and knowing she can make positive affect on them is DeJong’s favorite part of her new job.
DeJong said she always wanted to be an AD because when she coached she wanted to be able to talk to administrators who knew what each day was like as a coach. She wants to be an administrator who knows and understands that specific lifestyle it takes to coach.
DeJong has a vision for Post and will do anything in her power to make sure that vision becomes reality. “We will grow bigger and better,” she said.