Ever dream of turning your hobby into your lifelong career? Southwestern University Head Athletic Trainer Glen Schwab did just that. Now in his ninth year at Southwestern University, he plans to stay for the long run.
“I wanted to be an athlete when I was in high school,” Schwab said of his early years.
“I love football. I grew up in Illinois, and football was not as big in Illinois as it is in Texas. To be quite honest with you, I was that skinny little kid whose Mom said he could not play football,” he said laughing.
Not to be discouraged, he continued to pursue his passion – just in a safer way.
“I volunteered as a manager of the football team,” he explained. “And the coaches were like Glenn, you could do so much more for us, why don’t you go and become a trainer? We didn’t have a certified trainer. We didn’t have that back in the 80’s – no one had them. I thought it sounded interesting and said I’d do it.”
Being a trainer for the football team at his high school became a dedicated hobby, but he soon dropped it in pursuit of a college education.
“I wanted to be an architect. I went off to college thinking that’s what I wanted to do. I realized in my first year of college that I didn’t want to be stuck behind a desk for the rest of my life. I wanted to be outside. I like to work with my hands, I like to interact with people. As soon as I realized that I needed to make a change, I transferred to East Illinois University where they had a degree plan in athletic training. That became my life.”
When asked about his favorite part about working at Southwestern University, he had an expansive list of positives for SU.
“I love working with the student body here,” Schwab said. “Here, we’re not just a have-fun athletic program. We’re competitive and we desire to win, but to have fun doing it still. Interacting with the students is the most rewarding part of my job. Secondly, I love this athletic department. The way Dr. Munt, the Athletic Director – the way she handles the way we do things, and the way the coaches interact with my staff. They’re very supportive of what we’re doing.”
“[The difference between Division 1 and Division 3] athletes is the whole focus on why they’re there,” Schwab continued.
“Division 1 has it in their mentality that they’re there as an athlete first and then secondly they’re going to school. And to be quite honest, most of them are very arrogant and very self-centered, and all they’re worried about is their future careers.”
“Division 3 athletes have a different focus,” Schwab added.
“They realize they’re here first as a student. Believe it or not, they still love the game they’re playing. It’s not uncommon at Division 1 that they really don’t love it any more. It’s become a job. And all they’re looking at is to make money off it in the future.”
Now that he and his wife have settled in Georgetown, neither of them plan on moving any time soon.
“I would love to stay at Southwestern forever. I would love to retire here. That’s my goal.”