A Texan who came to Northwestern to play football, Tyler was delighted to learn about career opportunities in strength and conditioning. While earning all-conference honors as an offensive lineman, Tyler participated in the Kinesiology Klub, Student Government Association and a Spring Service Partnership mission experience in Colorado. He took advantage of both on- and off-campus opportunities to learn as much as he could about performance training, which enabled him to be selected for a graduate assistantship in Tennessee and prepared him for his current post.
What are some of the strengths of Northwestern’s kinesiology department?
One of the biggest strengths is the faculty and their commitment to their students’ success. I still rely heavily on the counsel of the Northwestern kinesiology faculty. The smaller classes allowed me to develop personal and professional relationships with my professors. This provided me opportunities to ask the difficult questions I needed to ask and know that I would be getting authentic and accurate answers. In addition, the facilities and equipment the department has rival that of much larger schools and programs. While at Northwestern I was exposed to tons of different tools used to aid, track and facilitate recovery for performance.
What did you most appreciate about Northwestern’s faculty?
The professors were always very clear about what I needed to do to be great. They fully invested in me and provided me with the motivation and prompts to learn and grow every day as a student and a professional.
How well did Northwestern prepare you for graduate school and your work now?
My transition to graduate school was extremely easy due to the high academic expectations placed on me at Northwestern. Going through the exercise science program at NWC enabled me to develop tremendous study skills I still use today. I often revert back to material I remember from my courses at Northwestern. Outside of the traditional classroom, the strength and conditioning concentration and practicum courses gave me tons of hands-on coaching experience working with essentially every type of athlete at the school. These coaching responsibilities at such a young age were vital to my ability to coach from the start when entering my graduate assistantship at Belmont University.
In what ways did you grow in your faith at Northwestern?
I undoubtedly found my faith at Northwestern College. I was very fortunate to be surrounded by incredible men and women on and off campus. The church and campus communities were incredibly welcoming. This enabled me to develop my faith in a very personal and intentional way with the support of teammates, roommates and mentors.
What have you come to value the most about your Northwestern experience?
The relationships and friends I made at Northwestern are easily the most valuable parts of my experience. I still stay in contact with many of my friends, teammates and coaches. Having such a good group of people to rely on is something I couldn’t have gotten anywhere else. I absolutely love coming back to Orange City and being on campus. It always feels like coming home.
What were some of the highlights of your experience at the University of Texas?
My time as the assistant strength and conditioning coach with the University of Texas men's basketball team was incredible. A highlight would be getting to go to the NCAA tournament and watching our athletes compete at the highest level. Likewise, every day I got to be part of a tremendous staff that was committed to excelling at the highest level. On the same note, getting to know players personally and supporting them in any way possible to help them perform on a huge stage made every day a highlight.