Assistant Wanted

Megan Kishbaugh, Reporter

The women’s soccer team is looking for a new graduate assistant for fall 2013.

Current GA Erin Eddinger will graduate in May.

Athletic department staff has been accepting applications and calls from those who would like to take the position, head coach Mark Stauffer said.

The new GA will be able to complete his or her post-graduate education while aiding Stauffer with the women’s soccer team.

“Most jobs today require a master’s degree to even get considered for the position,” Eddinger said.

The position of the GA involves many tasks, Eddinger said. Working with the head coach of the program and the entire university athletic department, getting firsthand experience with the recruiting process, and coaching players are some of the jobs the new GA can expect.

“Our new GA has to have experience with soccer in order to help coach our program,” Stauffer said. “It also helps to have some coaching experience when trying to apply for the position.”

Stauffer said finding and hiring a new GA is a lot of work. There are applications, phone interviews, face-to-face interviews, and tours of the campus. But it offers many advantages to the successful candidate, such as one-on-one experience with head coaches, working with the players, and learning the ins-and-outs of the recruiting processes, Eddinger said.

Eddinger was the GA for the women’s soccer team for the past two years while getting her master’s degree in sports management, and earning the qualifications that the position requires takes a long time.

“Being the GA for this program was such a rewarding and terrific experience for me and I know that it definitely will help me get jobs after my graduation,” Eddinger said.

“I graduated from Juniata College with my bachelor’s degree in sport management,” Eddinger said. “I applied for the position over a phone interview then I came to campus for another interview. After I was hired I had to be accepted into the MBA (Master of Business Administration) program.”

During the season Eddinger planned practices and reviewed film of the girls’ games.

“Being a grad assistant I learned many different styles of coaching and it built up my experience for future jobs,” Eddinger said.

In the off-season, players need workouts, and recruiting becomes the most important job.

“In the off-season recruiting becomes a huge time commitment. I went to showcases and tournaments every weekend to recruit players for the program,” Eddinger said.

“Getting to the Final Four made all the recruiting, film break down, and work worthwhile,” Eddinger said.

“I gained a ton of experience working with Coach Stauffer,” Eddinger said. “Being the GA of a program that made it to the Final Four and was led by a head coach that was named the division three National Coach of the Year is a great resume builder.”

Eddinger would like to have an administrative position in collegiate athletics.

“Her degree in sports management and her GA position will definitely help her get jobs after her graduation” Stauffer said.

Stauffer is hopes to hire another GA with the work ethic Eddinger demonstrated.

“I just need someone who is willing to put all of their time into the program and their school work,” Stauffer said. “Erin was willing to do that and it worked out great.”

The disadvantage to being a GA is the complex balance of academics and sport, Eddinger said

“I had some trouble with getting school work done, but the key is scheduling out your day,” Eddinger said.

All  GAs receive a cubical in a room at the Anderson Center on campus – and that helps for organization.

“Having a space in the same area that Stauffer’s office is located is very convenient for me,” Eddinger said.

Many of the GAs live on campus, and Eddinger lives on campus with a roommate who was also a GA.

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