Beyond Football -- Preparing for Life

Photo By: Oregon State Athletics   07-01-2014

Beyond Football is a component of the Oregon State Football experience that aims to provide opportunities and a platform for the personal and professional development of our student-athletes. Focused around three central tenants—Empower, Engage and Prepare— the program prepares the student-athletes by providing a diverse array of programming, seminars, classes and opportunities that align with the program’s central mission: setting our student-athletes up for success in life beyond the game. 

To achieve these aims, the program centers around:

EMPOWER: Connecting the student-athletes to business professionals, thought leaders and community members who will expand their worldview, way of thinking and network

ENGAGE: Fostering an understanding of community and global needs and a culture of volunteerism and lifelong civic engagement

PREPARE: Identifying the student-athletes’ unique interests, skills and passions and determining a professional direction and course for success

“We take care of our young men,” Beaver head coach Gary Andersen said. “When they commit to us, we make a commitment to them to ensure that they are empowered to succeed athletically, academically and socially.”

The effectiveness of the program is based on its ability to increase metrics such as increase in team GPA, number of undergraduates employed after graduation and increase in number of hours volunteered.  To ensure student-athletes are achieving these aims, the program employs a points metric to track student-athletes’ off-field involvement. The student-athletes must earn a certain number of points for participation in events that serve to empower, engage or prepare them based on their academic standing and success. Student-athletes also meet regularly with a member of the Beyond Football program to assess progress.

Student-athletes can satisfy their off-field requirements by participating in events offered through Beyond Football or by utilizing resources or programming offered through campus or the athletic department.

Football is only one aspect of my life,” football student-athlete Malik Gilmore said. “It’s very important to me to build relationships with people during my time at OSU. The Beyond Football program is awesome! Coach Andersen has done a great job of putting together a staff that has our best interests at heart.”

Started in 2013 thanks to a generous gift from an Oregon State alumnus, the program has reached new heights under Head Coach Gary Andersen and Director of Athletics Todd Stansbury. In alignment with Stansbury’s emphasis on developing “Everyday Champions,” – student-athletes that achieve success in the classroom and community, and are prepared to make an impact after graduation -- Andersen added additional staff and reconfigured the program to better serve the student-athletes.

Since Coach Andersen’s arrival at Oregon State, the student-athletes have already shown tremendous growth and improvement. The team cumulative and term GPAs have increased since Andersen’s arrival. Oregon State’s football student-athletes have posted the highest cumulative and term GPA’s over the last six academic terms. Since Andersen’s arrival football student-athletes have also increased their volunteerism to one appearance per week.

For more information on the Beyond Football program, contact Kayla Gross, Director of Beyond Football at kayla.gross@oregonstate.edu or (541)-250-6379.

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