What Makes A Winning Athletics Program? (By Angelique Cunningham Interim Director of Athletics)

Mike Kipp
During the past few months, I have been afforded the opportunity to learn a little about the great team of people involved in the Athletics Department, which includes over 35 coaches, a fantastic trainer, and about 250 student-athletes. Those numbers alone are pretty incredible, but the individuals mentioned are not the only ones involved in creating an outstanding program. Here are the facts of the matter.
St. Michael's Athletics has many multiple-sport student-athletes, another clear indication of how a St. Michael’s education is driven by the student experience. Why do I say that?  Because one of the great strengths of our program is that students are able to participate in any number of sports. 
We have the flexibility to accommodate the student who wants to try and excel at more than one activity.  A student at our school who is committed and talented has a greater chance of being able to gain exposure to a variety of athletics than they would elsewhere.

What else differentiates St. Michael’s? A wonderful Athletic Department with coaches who have over 20 years of experience. Athletics has been a key contributor in SMCA winning back-to-back TAPPS Henderson Cups. Our athletes have won three state championships already this year: Men’s Cross Country, Women’s Cross Country and Volleyball, and 35 State championships overall. We play in a competitive arena against other athletes who challenge us to constantly become better.
We have our star players and happily boast about alumnus Mitch Morse, Class of 2010, who plays in the NFL for the Kansas City Chiefs, and alumnus Kyle Martin, Class of 2011, who is on the 40-man roster for the Boston Red Sox, currently in spring training.  Many of our students in the past few years have gone on to play at the collegiate level. But here’s the thing: we encourage participation at all levels and provide opportunities for students to experience a wide variety of sports. From tennis to football, from golf to swimming – in all, we offer 13 sports that are supported and celebrated.
One of the things I love most about athletics is the concept of TEAM. Working together to achieve a common goal is special. It’s about relationships. It’s about purpose.
Our Faculty and Staff work with student-athletes to ensure their academic success while constantly negotiating hectic athletic schedules. The Communications team helps keep everyone informed. And, from nutrition to transportation, we have people making sure our student-athletes are well fed and get where they are going….and back.  Those in the Business and Development offices help make sure funds are available to provide all that the Athletics Department requires to sustain its programs.  Our super maintenance and janitorial staff work as hard in the athletic areas as any of our coaches and athletes! We couldn’t run practices or host games without their great work.
Our volunteers are awesome at setting up some fantastic pre-game meals and helping at the press box, scorer’s table, concession stand, and gate – to name a few of their activities.
Thank you to all of you who contribute to our school’s success! We couldn’t WIN without you!
Inspired and Energized,
Angelique Cunningham
Interim Athletics Director