Each Friday during the 2017-18 academic year, the conference office will release a SCAC Spotlight feature story. For the first 15 weeks, the focus of these feature stories will be former student-athletes who played at an SCAC institution and went on to become head coaches in the conference.
In this, the second SCAC Spotlight feature, we sit down with Emily Daum (formerly Loeffler) about her journey from being a student at Trinity University to now coaching at her alma mater.
Once Emily Daum stepped foot on Trinity University’s campus as a student, she knew she wouldn’t ever leave.
Now Head Cross Country Coach, Daum is an example of an SCAC standout athlete turned head coach, but the road to get where she is now wasn’t an easy path.
When Daum’s four years were up, she admitted she wasn’t sure where her path was going. She didn’t have a job lined up as the big day inched closer and closer.
Trinity then won a grant from the NCAA for women and ethnic minorities to work as an Assistant to the Director of Athletics and a Sports Information Director within the athletics department. Daum applied and was offered the position a week before she walked across the stage.
Working on the administration side of the Trinity Athletics department, Daum handled many website tasks, designing brochures, and her favorite, game day photography.
After earning her Masters degree from Texas A&M-San Antonio while working for Trinity, Daum saw an open coaching position at Trinity and applied.
“Bob [King] knew I had a strong passion for the sport,” Daum said. “I’m very competitive, very driven, I don’t like losing and neither does he.”
She was offered the position and Daum became the fifth cross country coach for Trinity.
Running and competing for the SCAC gave Daum some of her best friends. Once major competition in their college days, Lauren Loeffler, formerly Reich, is now Daum’s assistant coach. Daum also coaches with her husband, Jeremy, who attended Trinity and competed as a runner for the Tigers and the SCAC as well.
The Trinity Cross Country coaching staff is all related in the same family and all competed under the SCAC umbrella.
Daum thinks its “awesome” to have both Loeffler and Jeremy on her side to coach with her. She even jokes her and Loeffler still argue about past races when they were student-athletes and reminisce about their past.
“I think being involved in the SCAC and having that running family, is really important,” Daum said. “Trinity is definitely my home, they’ll have to kick me out.”
It’s what Daum learned as a runner, working for the athletics administration, and now as a coach that has shaped her into the person and coach she is today.
Sometimes she is faced with questions from her athletes that don’t pertain to the sport, some want to follow her footsteps. Daum’s advice isn’t tailored to those wanting to get into coaching, but to anyone with a passion.
“The road to getting to where you want to be isn’t always going to be smooth,” Daum said. “But if you know what you really want to do, stick with it, and make sure it’s something you’re truly passionate about so it doesn’t seem like work.”