Everyday Champion -- Tyler Simpson
April 23, 2009
Corvallis, Ore. -
There will come a time when Oregon State University's Trysting Tree Golf Club is going to need a new clubhouse, and Tyler Simpson might be the person for the job. Simpson is a junior on the men's golf team and is majoring in construction engineering, where he excels academically with an exceptional GPA.
The Portland, Ore., native is so highly thought of by his team members that he was selected co-team captain this year and has thrived in the leadership role.
"I was kind of surprised, but kind of not on the other hand," Simpson said when he learned that he was elected. "I felt comfortable pursuing a leadership role since this is my fourth year on the team (redshirt as a freshman). I feel I have a good understanding of what Coach (Brian) Watts wants; I can be his mouth to the rest of the team and I feel comfortable with that role."
Simpson serves in other roles on campus as well, including being a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), which is a group of student-athletes representing every team with the goal of making a difference at their school and in their community.
"Just the power that one person can have in the universe and in the community really inspires me to be a part of SAAC," Simpson said. "I want to start doing more in my last two years; I don't feel like I have done enough yet. It is one of my priorities to get more involved."
Simpson is plenty involved as one of the school's best complete student-athletes. He's an individual who defines OSU's everyday champions program.
To read more about Tyler Simpson please read below...
Q. What are some of the benefits the golf team enjoys having the Trysting Tree Golf Club?
A. Some of the benefits of having a place like Trysting Tree is we have free practice, we get to use all of the facilities, we get free range balls and we can get out on the course almost anytime we want. Plus the staff is really good to us. In speaking to some of the guys from other teams, they don't really have a place that works with them like Trysting Tree does with us.
Q. You have an ambitious major in construction engineering, how do you find time to be a successful student-athlete and thrive in the classroom?
A. It's really important to my parents to pursue a degree and to have that as my main priority. I took that in mind, and a lot of the programs at Oregon State have helped me out as well. When I got here as a freshman, the study tables really instilled good study habits. Ever since my first term, I have been able to stay on top of things and to be able to balance school and golf.
Q. What kinds of advice did your parents give you about construction engineering?
A. My parents have always made school a top priority with me. School always comes first and then extracurricular activities, even in high school growing up, I had to make sure I did my schoolwork first and hung out with my family before I got time for extracurricular activities. That carried over into my college experience because it is a big deal with how you manage your time and the habits I was able to gather from my family have benefited me.
Q. What is your dream job?
A. My dream job is to own a construction company. More of a glitzy and glamorous job would be to run a really big and successful construction project and be on-time and on-budget for a building that would standout and people would notice.
Q. What does it mean to have a scholarship?
A. Having a scholarship means a number of things. I'm a little less of a financial burden on my parents so they can send a little more my sister's way right now, but more importantly as I was growing up, it gave me something to shoot for; to become a better golfer so I could get a scholarship. There is an idea about it and it gives you something to dream for as a kid. Taking that pressure off paying the bills, gives you more time to think about golf, school and about what I can be doing with SAAC. It gives you less stress and more opportunities to pursue the things you like and I couldn't be more thankful for that.
Q. What sort of things does SAAC do on and off campus?
A. As a student-athlete we have the potential to influence people in the local community. Touching people, especially as athletes, we are given so many opportunities; we should be able to give back to other people as well.
Q. Some of your family, including your father, attended OSU. Did they push you toward their alma mater?
A. I do have a lot of family members that have gone here, but even with that said, I was a Duck fan growing up. My dad, my uncle and my cousin went here. After growing up in high school, Oregon State was the place I wanted to go. It was close to home, they had a good engineering program and I knew I wanted to do some type of engineering and I heard a lot of good things about it.
Q. Knowing what you did about OSU, did you still find some surprises on campus?
A. I was really surprised by the athletic facilities to be honest. The weight room (Sports Performance Center), the training room and Trysting Tree too. Everything is here for you to succeed. I was blown away by the campus with how old it is, how pretty it is and how it still holds up.
Q. What would you or have you told a recruit considering Oregon State?
A. I would tell a recruit coming here to play golf that we have some of the best facilities. We have a new weight room, which is everything you could ever want. We have the academic services too that most people don't see or think about when they first come here. They really give you the opportunity to succeed with the free tutors and the study tables. Anything you could need.
Q. If you could only play with one golf club, what would it be and why?
A. It would be something like the 6-iron. You can put that back in your stance and off the tee lower to try and hit it a long ways, but if you're on the green behind a bunker, you can get it up a little bit and chip it. You can hit a lot of shots from the fairway with it. You can also putt with it on the green.
Q. What's the best shot you have ever hit?
A. I have never had a hole in one, but there is a shot that I kind of play back in my mind a little. It was in the US Amateur when I was 16 or 17 and it was my second shot with my 5-iron. The pin was tucked to the right and I had my buddy caddy for me and I said, `hey I'm going right at this thing. I'm going to hit a little fade at the pin and if it fades it will be 10 feet.' I hit the shot and it was right at the pin and it faded just a little bit, like three or four feet, and I eagled.
Q. What's it like playing for Brian Watts?
A. Playing for Brian Watts is everything I could have imagined. After meeting some of the other coaches, nothing against the other coaches, but Coach Watts accepts your failures and also embraces you when you succeed. It is the best of both worlds as far as I am concerned. He is there for support and he is your friend as well as your coach. He is a good person to have in your life and a good role model for all of us to have.