In early May, Hastings College President Travis Feezell officially announced that the school had decided to hire Burt John “B.J.” Pumroy. Pumroy officially started as the new athletic director on July 1, after spending the last three years working as an athletic director for St. Mary’s Ryken, a college prepatory school in Maryland.
Pumroy was very motivated to come to Hastings , impressed by HC’s athletic history — banners and trophies especially — and current facilities. Although Pumroy knew a fair amount about the school prior to applying, he was sold on Hastings after seeing online videos of the current state of the athletic programs and facilities.
In addition to those opportunities, a chance to be closer to family was also very important.
“My mom and dad live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, about a 6-hour drive and my wife’s mom and dad live in Creston, Iowa, about a 4-hour drive. Seeing a chance to get back to the Midwest in a right-sized community and a caring campus looked very attractive to me,” Pumroy said.
One of the reasons Pumroy has continued to serve as an athletic director, in his 13th consecutive year, is being able to see the kids’ growth between the classroom and the athletic field.
“When I think of the ideal college experience for all students, I envision one where they grow emotionally, cognitively, spiritually, and gain from shared experiences and grow from new experiences,” Pumroy said.
Pumroy feels that the opportunity to be on a team forces players to be disciplined and self-controlled in order to become one great team. When players buy in, according to Pumroy, that is when the athletes can have a collegiate experience like few others.
“What brings me the most joy is when I can go home at the end of the day, look in the mirror and know I gave everything I had that day to make Hastings College a better place,” said Pumroy.
While the changes that Pumroy plans on making are still in the evaluation stage, he does envision some changes coming soon — likely occurring after this school year. The changes would likely be made with budgetary adjustments and Pumroy is confident in his ability to evaluate coaches and student-athletes after he gains the necessary knowledge to improve the current situation of the school.
The biggest change that Pumroy wants to make is how Hastings transports their teams, as the college fleet is old and has had some reliability issues this year. While the school has made some changes to help maintain the vehicles, Pumroy believes they need to make some decisions as a campus as to how the teams travel. This will put the teams in better situations than what is currently in place.
In addition to Pumroy’s arrival, new to the college is the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) in an effort to increase the support and continuity of the athletic teams. While there has been a solid crowd in attendance at many of the athletic events, Pumroy is not satisfied yet because he believes that HC can not have too many fans supporting the teams.
“I expect myself to be a part of many of the events on campus and hope others will join me in supporting the entire campus community,” said Pumroy.
Pumroy concluded that he would love to see more students, faculty, staff and community members out to all of the contests to see their fellow Broncos not just in athletic events, but non-athletic events as well.