BYU students can be found almost everywhere in Utah County, and with the Cougar Coaches program, they can now be found hitting the little league fields.
When coaches can’t be found for city leagues, Cougar Coaches are the first to call. The program, part of The Center for Service and Learning, enlists students to become coaches.
Cougar Coaches coach both boys and girls of all ages and have coached wrestling, lacrosse, fishing and almost everything in between.
While no prior coaching experience is required, the students who become coaches usually have a love for their sport and must be committed.
When asked how they recruit students to coach, Nick Lambertsen, Cougar Coaches program director, said that they never have a shortage of volunteers.
“The students come looking for us and we usually have a running list of coaches,” Lambertsen said. “They usually have past (sports) experience that qualifies them to coach.”
BYU Cougar Coaches can be found in the Y-Serve office or at their booth in Wilkinson Student Center on Thursdays at 11 a.m.
Students of all ages may apply to become volunteer coaches. Dani Moore, a program director, said that two new freshmen coaches just began coaching football and coordinate rides to the Orem practice fields from their dorms.
“Kids really look up to college students. The coaches are like big kids and so it works out really well,” Moore said.
The program keeps in constant contact with city leagues, who will contact the program when they do not have a coach before the start of the season. Fred Rohlfing, a program director, said that he knows how important coaches are to kids.
“I know what it means to have a good coach, and this is really what its about, interacting with the kids,” Rohlfing said.
Students coach the kids at practice at least once a week and must be present for their games. Spencer Woutz recently joined Cougar Coaches as a program director and says that the games are one of his favorite parts of the coaching experience.
“This is what it is all about,” Woutz said. “Being here watching a game; its really cool to see.”