GANSEVOORT, N.Y. – Throughout the spring, the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) will highlight a coach and student-athlete from each of our member institutions in a brief Q & A. Today’s Coaches Corner introduces us to Penn State Berks Men’s Golf Coach Rick Bausher and student-athlete Jacob Siegfried.
In just his third year at Penn State Berks, Coach Rick Bausher has brought the Nittany Lions’ program to life. Last season, Bausher guided the Nittany Lions to their best showing at the NEAC Championship where they finished second. In addition to his team’s solid showing at the championship event, Bausher was honored as the NEAC Coach of the Year while Penn State Berks also had the NEAC Rookie of the Year and four team members earn All-Conference honors. Beyond his work on the greens, Bausher is also in his first year as a volunteer assistant with the Penn State Berks women’s basketball team.
Sophomore Jacob Siegfried (Bethlehem, Pa.) is looking to build upon a strong rookie campaign that culminated in NEAC All-Conference Third Team honors. Siegfried, who was named NEAC Men’s Golfer of the Week in September during the fall season, also took some time to share a few thoughts about his head coach.
Head Coach Rick Bausher
What inspired you to become a collegiate coach?
I was fortunate to play college golf under a great coach who established a very successful program that enabled me to play in four-straight NCAA Division II Championships. I just wanted to try and give back to the guys on my team the opportunities I experienced thanks to the efforts of my college coach.
What is your favorite memory or moment at Penn State Berks?
It was definitely seeing the pride in my players’ faces when we went from second-to-last in the conference the previous year and then finishing second in the conference the following year to be recognized at the conference tournament awards ceremony.
As a coach, how do you help your Division III student-athletes balance all aspects of college life?
I constantly talk about life’s big picture. Most likely none of my players will become professional golfers. Therefore, they better be prepared to graduate and be ready to compete in the most competitive job market ever. We emphasize if you want to be treated like an adult then you need to accept the responsibilities that go with adulthood and act like one.
Outside of wins, losses and stats, what do you want everyone to know about your student-athletes?
We are gentlemen on and off the course. We practice hard, play hard and represent our university in the best way we possibly can.
Describe the impact your coach had on your decision to attend your institution and/or on your development as a student-athlete.
After visiting with several other schools and going through their recruiting process, Coach Bausher’s process seemed the most personalized and persistent. His commitment to growing the program at Penn State Berks and goals for obtaining a NEAC title and an NCAA appearance were well-defined. As an athlete that has played competitive sports throughout my childhood and into my teens, I’ve always strived to be a leader and I felt I had the greatest opportunity to do so with a new and upcoming program at Berks. I wanted to be one of the first to jump start the program and help reach Coach Bausher’s goals before I graduate.
Do you have a favorite memory or moment with your coach that you would like to share?
Every spring break we go to Myrtle Beach to start off our spring season, so after the ten-hour drive that day we were all beginning to build an appetite. Our assistant coach, Coach Lamm, decided it would be a good idea to go to a restaurant that prides itself on providing poor service and giving you big, white paper hats with something mean on the hat. You aren’t allowed to take it off and see what it says until you are getting ready to leave. Coach Bausher sat there with his hat on the whole time. Knowing Coach Bausher for a short amount of time, you could tell he is a pretty down-to-earth person yet takes a lot of situations relatively seriously and this was one of them. He spent the whole time at the end of the table blown away by the service. Meanwhile, the rest of the team was laughing like crazy. In the end, we all agreed that it was a good experience but we would never go back. What made it memorable for us was just to witness Coach Bausher in that environment.
What advice would you give to future student-athletes who may be considering playing for your team/coach?
My message to prospective student-athletes would be to ask yourself if you think you are, or will be, committed enough to play collegiate golf within a growing program. Coach Bausher doesn’t ask for much, but he will expect you to be there when the program and your teammate need you most. He does expect you to put forth the time and effort to achieve the team’s goals. One thing Coach [Bausher] stresses to us is that academics come before golf. Therefore you need to be committed to being a good student before you are a committed golfer. He’s not looking for one commitment or the other, he’s looking for both.
To learn more about Penn State Berks and Nittany Lions athletics, visit psuberksathletics.com.
*Information compiled by Tyler Schueck, Penn State Berks Assistant Director of Athletics for Compliance & Sports Information
The North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) has fourteen NCAA Division III member institutions which include: Bryn Athyn College, Cazenovia College, College of St. Elizabeth, Gallaudet University, Keuka College, Lancaster Bible College, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Pennsylvania State University – Abington, Pennsylvania State University – Berks, SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY Morrisville State College, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Wells College, and Wilson College. Associate members are: Cedar Crest College (W Swimming), D’Youville College (M Volleyball), Hilbert College (M&W Lacrosse), Medaille College (M&W Lacrosse, M Volleyball), Pennsylvania State University – Altoona (M Volleyball), and Rutgers University – Camden (M Golf). The NEAC has partnered with the North Atlantic Conference in the sports of field hockey and men’s tennis. For more information, please visit: www.neacsports.com.