SEITZ STARTS NEW INITIATIVES TO BOOST PBSC ATHLETICS
In just six months on the job, Athletics Director Tom Seitz has implemented several new initiatives to raise support for all Palm Beach State College sports programs and to ensure athletes get the academic help they need.
Seitz, the former commissioner of The Crossroads League in Indianapolis, recently started a Panther Athletic Club to help the community become more aware and involved in PBSC athletics.
Anyone is welcome to join the club. Membership fees range from $50 to $250. Members will receive email updates, invites to tailgate parties, signed team posters with schedules and more. The club also will help raise funds for scholarships, facility enhancements and equipment.
Seitz is also working to create a PBSC Athletics Hall of Fame to recognize outstanding alumni who excelled in athletics while at PBSC and/or later proved to be successful in life. The Hall of Fame will also recognize supporters, coaches and staff who significantly contributed to the development of the athletic program.
“Through these initiatives, we’re hoping to get more people excited about our programs,” said Seitz. “We’re also hoping to secure additional funds to cover costs that our normal operating budget might not, such as for VertiMax equipment that currently assists our athletes in strength, speed and resistance training. It will also help us be able to invest in the future of our athletes and the program.”
Seitz also wants PBSC’s more than 75 student athletes to have as much academic support as possible. To help provide that, he hired Taylor Wright as the new athletic specialist earlier this month. In the past, the position was mainly administrative. Seitz has now designed it to also help athletes stay on course academically.
“We really want those athletes who desire to transfer to a university after their first two years be selected at the school of their dreams. Academics play a vital role in that,” Seitz said.
In the role, Wright will coordinate academic and life skills workshops and organize small group tutoring.
Wright, a native of Southern California, already has experience doing this type of work. She was formerly the academic support and compliance specialist at Oakton Community College in Des Plaines, Ill. There, she implemented a successful academic support program for 150 student athletics in 15 men and women’s sports teams. She also helped increase student athlete graduation and transfer rates by 30 percent, created a student athlete handbook and coordinated small group tutoring.
“The program I created at Oakton was based on encouraging students to strive for academic success and to also provide them with tools to help them reach those goals,” said Wright, who says mentoring athletes is one of her passions. “I want to continue that tradition at PBSC, and I look forward to building a successful program under Tom’s leadership.”
Seitz has already seen many PBSC athletes reach the goal to play for a four-year university. This spring, 27 athletes signed to play this fall at schools including Virginia Tech, Valdosta State, the University of Florida, the University of New Orleans and Arkansas State. Ten are baseball players, two are softball players, three are from women’s basketball, seven are in volleyball, and five in men’s basketball. Women’s basketball player Caitlyn Smith has signed to play for Cornell University, one of eight Ivy League schools.
“We are proud of these athletes, and I look forward to building on this success in the coming years,” Seitz said.
For more information about the PBSC Athletics Hall of Fame or to join the Panther Athletic Club, call Seitz at 561-868-3004. For more information on PBSC athletics, visit www.palmbeachstate.edu/athletics