Adam Wilson ’11, assistant wrestling coach, is one of the many alumni who continue to call The University of Olivet home long after they graduate. For Coach Wilson, the relationships he built with head wrestling coach Brandon Brissette and many of his other professors and mentors as a student pushed him to return to OC. Now, he is on the other side, serving as a mentor both on the mat and in life for Comet student-athletes.
Why do you love working at OC?
I love working at The University of Olivet for many reasons. Most of all, I have a very personal relationship with this institution. I graduated from The University of Olivet in 2011 and both of my parents, Jeff and Patti, attended OC in the early 1980s. I have been around The University of Olivet since I was a kid. Many of the great people that influenced my life at a young age are Comets. People like Jare Klein, The University of Olivet Athletic Hall of Fame wrestling coach, and David Labrecque ’84, The University of Olivet trustee and All-American wrestler, are individuals that made long and lasting impressions on me when I was young. Our great institution is filled with individuals who truly care about you as a person. I am forever grateful that I have this opportunity to be a part of a community that strives to fulfill our mission to Be More and Do Good.
What are some of your responsibilities as the assistant wrestling coach?
Truthfully, I try to not limit or define my responsibilities. From my perspective, every task that I take on comes from the vision of providing our student-athletes in the wrestling program with the best opportunities they can have during their four years at The University of Olivet. I know I had a great experience as a student-athlete at OC, but I want more for our student-athletes. I will leave no stone unturned to make sure they have the opportunities to achieve their dreams as a student and as an athlete.
With that said, within our coaching staff, I am directly responsible for leading and managing the recruitment of our future student-athletes, coordination of the individual training of our current wrestlers, leading and/or participating in daily training with our team, and planning and organizing many of our fundraising activities amongst other duties and responsibilities.
What drives you to build personal relationships with students?
A real, genuine relationship is everything. Without this, it is really hard to help a student, or a student-athlete, reach their full potential. From my perspective as a coach, I think it is important for our guys to know I am 100 percent all in with them. When our student-athletes step into our program, I want them to know I am committed to them as a person. I want to be involved in their life outside of the wrestling room. My highest goal for every student-athlete in our program is not to be the best wrestler they can be – it is to develop into a young man of character that is going to be a contributing and effective member of their community when they leave our institution. This cannot happen without relationships that are valued outside of wrestling. It is my hope that every member of our wrestling team knows that I, and the rest of our coaching staff, will run through a brick wall for them and will do everything humanly possible to help them reach their fullest potential.
Why should students attend OC?
Refer to my statement on personal relationships! Students at The University of Olivet are valued. Everyone on campus, and I really mean everyone, is invested in the success of our students. If you want to hide, The University of Olivet is not the place for you. Our students have the opportunity to sit in classrooms with 15-17 students – not 250. Our students have the opportunity to build a true relationship with our faculty members – not a teaching assistant that is leading your lecture hall. The University of Olivet is a place where our students can really do anything.
Do you want to earn a valued degree, participate in college athletics, be involved in multiple clubs or organizations on campus, travel the world, and be ready to take on the world in four years? If the answer to that question is yes to many of those opportunities, tha The University of Olivet is the place. As an alum and now a coach, I am so proud that this small institution located in the heart of Michigan has, and will continue to, provide great opportunities for individuals from all walks of life. For me, it is easy to encourage students to attend The University of Olivet. Other than asking my wife to marry me, attending The University of Olivet was the best decision of my life.
What are you most looking forward to this wrestling season?
This is going to be a very exciting year for our program. At the conclusion of last year, we graduated seven wrestlers from our starting lineup. Often, when people hear that, they think this is a “rebuilding” year. Not a chance. We have returning guys that have shown they are ready to compete at a high level. In addition to our returners, we welcomed 23 new OC wrestlers to the program that earned All-State status during their high school careers. We have the talent to remain a top team in the country. The expectation is always the same in our program. I am looking forward to the challenge of upholding that standard at the conclusion of the 2017-18 season.
What is the number one piece of advice you share with student-athletes?
I always try to encourage our student-athletes to be fully committed to whatever it is that they are doing. Doing something without a purpose really isn’t worth doing. Going through the motions and just getting through completing a task delivers average results. Give full effort toward the tasks that you commit yourself to. If you do this, even if you do not reach your goal, you cannot fail.
What is an interesting or little known fact about yourself?
I am too much of a wimp to have a cool story like I jumped out of an airplane or something crazy like I went swimming with sharks. I really value my time with family. My wife, Meghan, has been a true blessing in my life. It is a tough job being a coach’s wife and she makes it look easy. Typically, she and I will try to enjoy the outdoors by going for a walk with our dogs, Carver and Ziggy, or going kayaking. We both enjoy traveling quite a bit, as well. This summer, we were able to enjoy a week in Rome, Italy together. Also, we are big fans of the sitcom “The Office.” We have probably watched the entire series five or six times.
Learn more about opportunities for student-athletes to build personal relationships with coaches at The University of Olivet by contacting the Office of Admissions at 800.456.7189 or firstname.lastname@example.org.