Outside of Glenbrook Gym last Tuesday, Castleton coaches were giving each other grief. chirps were flying and laughs were being had.
The coaches were also wearing odd-looking ponchos with one thing on their mind: catching a pie in the face.
Men’s soccer coach John O’Conner had some chirps flying towards men’s hockey coach Kyle Richards.
“Come on, don’t want to get a pie to your face,” he said with a smirk.
There were 41 containers of whipped cream on hand, all with one use in mind, to pie coaches.
Castleton University senior Jarrett Valdez was unable to get his coach with a pie, but he was impressed with the event.
“It is something I haven’t seen in my time at Castleton, but I’m all for it. It’s for a good cause and gets everyone involved,” he said
The athletes were throwing whipped cream pies at their coaches to raise money for the Special Olympics. The event was part of the Castleton Student-Athlete Advisory Committee’s (SAAC) spirit week.
“After last year’s “Why DIII?” video was a success, as a collective, we utilized SAAC to voice our ideas for this year’s festivities. We felt spirit week would encourage everyone’s participation around campus. This led to the amazing opportunity to do the rewarding pie-your-coach contest,” said sophomore hockey player and SAAC representative, Zach Trempner.
The SAAC spirit week idea coincides with NCAA Division III week. The goal of the NCAA Division III week is to bring greater awareness and understanding of Division III athletics through student athletes engaging in activities around campuses and the communities.
Spirit Week included a variety of events including Dress-Like-a-Coach Day, Jersey Day, Whacky Wednesday and a beach themed day.
“Pie your coach was awesome. Great to see athletes come out and take advantage of an opportunity to support a great cause and have some fun at their coach’s expense. I escaped as one of the luckier ones. The wrestlers and field hockey players put on a clinic. I think I only wore four pies. But any time us coaches and players can come together to support a good cause and have a laugh, that’s what it’s all about. Huge shoutout to SAAC and all their efforts for the event and D3 week as a whole,” said women’s hockey coach, Tim McAuliffe.
The pie-your-coach contest took place ironically on Dress Like Your Coach Day, which ended up with a double whammy with athletes dressing like their coach then getting to pie them.
“Though I didn’t see any of my players dressed in khakis and a golf shirt on Dress Like Your Coach Day which was disappointing,” said McAuliffe.
During NCAA Division III Week, each university is encouraged to report its activity to the national office so the collective impact of the division can be shared on a broader scale. Castleton’s SAAC committee decided that a spirit week would be a way to get involvement with the Castleton athletes and get involvement in the fundraiser for the Special Olympics.
“It was a lot of fun, not only because it was for a good cause, but it was great to see the reaction on their faces as well as the other athletes who pied their own coaches. It was well worth taking the time out for Special Olympics,” O’Conner said.
The SAAC committee wanted to do something different from the past years that was more exciting and get the athletes involved and more visible on campus.
“Something more exciting and something that gets the student-athletes going. We wanted to be more visible on campus and in our SAAC meeting a few weeks ago, we just brainstormed and came up with good ideas,” said senior tennis player and SAAC representative, Phil Kluge.