Chris Spence, telling the stories of Gavilan College student athletesby Jan Janes on Jul 6, 2018
With ten years as assistant coach to the college women's volleyball team, Chris Spence is a familiar face to college athletics.
Recently he took on additional roles, as women's beach volleyball coach. And in the new position of assistant of sports media relations.
With this new position, Spence will manage the athletics website and all social media, results, highlights, scholarships and student shout outs. This is in addition to indoor and beach volleyball coaching, managing the weight room and other support services.
Student athletics is more than just winning
"I'm looking to find all the good stories, help promote the department," said Spence.
"It's very rare to have kinesiology majors as student athletes," he continued. Many student athletes have rigorous majors.
"Three of the women volleyball players are biology majors," he said, noting one of many academic majors. Many are on the honor roll and are scholarship recipients.
"It's important to let the community know what student athletes are doing at Gavilan," Spence said. "Once they leave high school, coverage can stop." Gavilan will continue to promote student athletes, both in their sport and with their academic achievements.
Haley Leiheit sets up to teammate Mikeila Banda in a match against College of San Mateo.
Chris Spence (left), behind the long lens, is there to capture the winning point and Gavilan high five.
Watching student athletes blossom
"We watch some of these students grow from quiet and unsure into mature adults," said Spence. Sometimes they aren't ready, right away, for a four-year school. Sometimes they aren't ready to be done playing sports.
Gavilan College student athletes can play one sport each semester. They can compete at Gavilan for two years. They do not earn scholarships to play on a team.
But, to recruit the developing college teams, Gavilan must compete for students with UCs and CSUs statewide, both of which offer scholarships to students.
Sand, mutable canvas, provides coach Kevin Kramer (kneeling) the format to share
strategic information with beach volleyball team Mikeila Banda and Haley Leiheit.
With ten years experience at Gavilan, Spence anticipates chances to grow.
Spence will work with colleagues on task forces, articulating what teachers and staff can and cannot do in the recruitment process. He plans to have a hand in updating recruitment guides informing students about the guidelines they should know and follow.
Coming to the campus soon? The Rammys, an end of year award program, bringing the teams together to acknowledge the accomplishments of all the student athletes. Go ask Chris.