Rising sophomore Tamar Heart says he didn’t chose The University of Olivet, OC chose him. The Saginaw native and H-Back on the football team has made connections with professors, coaches and staff members across campus, and it’s these relationships that have helped him score on the field and in life.
During high school, Tamar wasn’t sure of his future, planning to enter the workforce after graduation. While a senior, something changed. Tamar realized he had bigger goals and he shifted his focus to his grades. His hard work paid off, and his senior report card proudly boasted all A’s.
It was this tremendous work ethic that caught the eye of Larry Smith, an academic adviser who also teaches and coaches football at OC to help students succeed in all facets of their college journey. Coach Smith reached out to Tamar, sharing with him words of congratulations and more about OC. Tamar wasn’t only excited to learn about opportunities for Comets, but surprised to hear Coach Smith had noticed him and wanted to connect.
“I had heard about The University of Olivet before, but after speaking with Coach Smith, I went and applied right away,” Tamar explained. “Even though my grades had improved, it wasn’t enough to get me into college, but Olivet didn’t give up on me that fast. I was able to be a part of the O2 Program, standing for the Olivet Opportunity and signifying a second chance. I am grateful for that chance to prove myself and that Olivet noticed my potential.”
Band of Brothers
Still today, Tamar keeps in contact with Coach Smith. He says Coach Smith always wants to know what he is learning and how he is doing in his personal life, and if he doesn’t get the answer he’s looking for, he’s sure to give Tamar the extra push he needs.
Coach Smith isn’t the only close relationship Tamar has built at OC. He says the entire football team truly is a Band of Brothers, and that isn’t just a motto they say.
“The OC football team is like a family,” Tamar emphasized. “Everyone knows each other and gets along, and there’s never any outsiders. If you need help with anything, you can go to your brothers. There is always someone there, and there is always someone in your corner. And the coaches don’t only care about how you perform on the field. They also teach us life lessons and make sure we are growing personally.”
Head football coach Dan “Moose” Musielewicz often says that the number one goal of the football team is to build lifelong relationships, in addition to leading the team to wins and contributing to their academic success. “Our job as coaches is to make sure they are not only developed players and developed students, but developed men so that when it comes time to get married, you are a prepared husband and certainly as prepared as you can be to become a father,” Coach Moose explained.
Tamar added that the support he has at The University of Olivet doesn’t end when he walks out of the locker room. He’s also a journalism and mass communication major and knows he can count on his professors for help and motivation any time.
Playing football since third grade and holding a lifelong passion for sports, Tamar hopes to shape a career in sports broadcasting with an ultimate goal to work for ESPN. In just his first year, he has already started to hone his writing skills and learn about all of the different aspects and people who contribute to a broadcast. Further, he’s developed a close relationship with Joanne Williams, associate professor of journalism and mass communication.
“Professor Williams is just a great adviser all around,” Tamar exclaimed. “She is always willing to help with anything you need. She is a great resource for help in my JMC classes, but she’s even helped me with other classes and my schedule.”
This fall, Tamar is especially excited to dive into his first broadcasting class, getting hands on in the production process and connecting with other students who have similar interests. During the rest of his college journey, Tamar plans to keep learning and growing – both in the classroom and on the field – saying there are many opportunities to do so at The University of Olivet. Along the way, he hopes to accomplish some wins with the football team and earn a spot on the Dean’s List or President’s List. Most importantly, Tamar says he will focus on connecting with as many Comets as he can and expanding his network.
A Comet at Heart
“The University of Olivet has been true to me,” Tamar said. “This school has given me so many opportunities – the opportunity to play football, the opportunity to have a great career someday, and to do it all backed by my Band of Brothers and many others who care about me.”
Learn more about The University of Olivet and the advantages of becoming a Comet. Attend an upcoming event, schedule a personalized campus visit or connect with the Office of Admissions at 800.456.7189 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.