LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - RYAN GEIGER OF TEXAS LUTHERAN UNIVERSITY, a sophomore on the Bulldog men's track & field team from Shiner, Texas, has been named the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Character and Community Male Student-Athlete of the week beginning April 8.
Geiger is a junior kinesiology major with sophomore athletic eligibility on the men’s track & field squad. He was a member of the Bulldogs’ 2018 SCAC Men’s Track & Field Championship.
Geiger has volunteered his time in the past two athletics seasons at his high school alma mater, Shiner St. Paul High School.
“After I stopped playing football (at TLU) actually, I spoke with our athletic director/head football coach at Shiner St. Paul, my alma mater, and I asked him about maybe an opportunity to volunteer on the coaching staff and help with football and basketball,” said Geiger. “And that led to the opportunities that I have had the last two falls and the last two seasons to coach the DBs, and I go on Tuesdays and Thursdays and help with that, and obviously on game days.”
“That has been an awesome experience for me. I’m learning a lot, getting a lot of I guess exposure you could say just being on the sidelines and game day operations and all of that. Also, having played for our basketball coach, after football season was over, he asked if I possibly wanted to help with basketball. I have to balance more time out here with track and going over there for basketball once we get into January and February. But yeah, I love it. I’ve been doing a lot to give back to my high school that helped me so much and our athletic director that helped me so much develop as a person and an athlete. So it’s just been great to be able to do that.”
The experience as a volunteer working with high school kids has made Geiger realize his calling as a future teacher and coach.
“I’ve learned really that I love working with kids,” said Geiger. “That’s really what I want to do. That has really affirmed what I wanted to do. A lot of people they go four or five years in college, and they never get an opportunity to be on the sidelines until they are a full-time teacher and coach, and they’ve been hired already.”
“This was my opportunity I guess to test the waters a little bit and see if this is something I would be really interested in. And sure enough, yeah, I think this is what I really want to do.”
After Geiger played a year with the TLU Football team, Geiger finally took up TLU Track & Field Head Coach Darlene Holland up on the offer to join the team.
“I turned her down a couple of times, but she is really persistent, and I am thankful for that,” said Geiger. “She got me out here, and I have really enjoyed getting out and competing again, especially after taking a full semester out of athletics and getting back to competing. I forgot how much I really loved it, and I’m really just thankful for this opportunity.”
Geiger hopes to provide key points for TLU in the javelin at the upcoming 2019 SCAC Track & Field Championships, set for April 26-27 at Trinity University in San Antonio.
“Overall what I want is for the entire team to have a conference championship, to finish the year as champions,” said Geiger. “That would be huge. If that means me getting second or third, and having a teammate actually beat me at conference, as long as we get those 10 points from a gold medal, I am happy with it.”