This season, Saint Joseph's tennis has created a new program to encourage Hawk alums to stay connected with the current men's and women's teams with the debut of the Captains' Club.
Spearheaded by head coach Ian Crookenden, the Captains' Club was established to help organize events that connect the current SJU teams with past Hawks. Among the endeavors the Captains' Club is setting up are matches between alumni and current student-athletes, alumni sponsored home matches and support at away matches.
Guiding the club in its inaugural campaign are alums Kyle Chalmers '17 and Alex Zachem '17. SJUHawks.com caught up with the pair to talk about the Captains' Club prior to the start of SJU's Spring schedule.
Q: How many people are currently active members in the Captains' Club?
Kyle: Coach initiated this event by inviting us to dinner at his house, where eight former and current captains attended. However, other former Hawks were invited to join and many have expressed interest as well.
Q: What are your roles within the club?
Kyle: There are no official roles, other than Alex and I have been selected to be leaders our respective women's and mens teams. As the leaders, we are the point people for planning and coordinating events with the coaches and captains of the current SJU teams.
Q: What impact did SJU have on you to make you both active members in the club/stay attached to the team/university?
Alex: SJU also had a great impact on me. The fact that it was a bit smaller with an athletic and academic reputation I knew it would be a great choice. With tennis, it was an automatic fit in terms of the coaching style, team dedication, and position in the A-10; I could not have asked for a better experience. Because I had such a good experience I wanted to make sure I stayed involved in order to help keep that atmosphere going. It's also great that with this club and any other alumni event, it brings people back to Philadelphia and SJU's campus.
Kyle: SJU had a tremendous impact on all aspects of my life. Beyond tennis, I was involved in a variety of organizations like Orientation Leaders, the Honors Program, Delta Sigma Pi, Hawk Hosts, etc. I made lasting relationships with many professors and students on campus and I want to find ways to continue to maintain and strengthen those relationships. With tennis playing such a significant role in my college experience, I see this club as a great opportunity to do just that.
Q: Are there other schools that have a similar club that you know of?
Kyle: I don't explicitly know of another university that has a program like this, but it's a great way to make your collegiate tennis experience last beyond the years you played on the team.
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