More than Sports: Life Advice from Chapman Coaches

The lessons coaches impart often help young people become not just better athletes, but better people too. Coaches teach us lessons about accountability,  persistence, sportsmanship and responsibility that the players they oversee take with them, long after they’ve stopped playing sports.  Prowl asked some Chapman coaches who give others advice about  the best advice they received.

Augustino Adams: Wide Receiver Coach, Football

Augustino Adams (left) and Monroe (MoneyMo) Alexander (right) playing college football at the University of Charleston in West Virginia. Photo courtesy of Augustino Adams

What is the most helpful piece of advice you have received? 

When you are young and in a new situation where you have superiors like your boss, coach, etc.  and they are talking to you and criticizing you then it means that they see potential in you and want to help make you be better.  You have to take criticism as a positive: The person critiquing you sees more in you and wants to help you grow out of your comfort zone.  Coaching and critiquing is helping turn a weakness you have into a strength.

What motto do you live by?

“The good get great and the great become unstoppable.” Keynado Hudson, a former defensive back coach at Chapman and current coach at Florida Atlantic University told me this.  When you’re good you are one of many people who were able to come out of high school and become a college athlete.  When you’re great you are the guy who is getting the pre and post-game interviews.  When you’re unstoppable you don’t really have to say much.  People will just check in on you and make sure that you are good and at the same time they will ask you to mentor others and be an example. When you are unstoppable – that’s when you know you have arrived.

How did you overcome struggles you had as a player?

I could never pass “the eye test.”  I was always an undersized athlete and I guess that it is ”little guy’s complex” when someone tells you that you can’t do something you want to make sure they know that you can do it.  Whether it’s dunking a basketball or returning a kick for a touchdown.  It is just the overall competitive spirit and it doesn’t die. It just morphs to your career in what you do.  Everybody always told me I was too small and that drove me to be better than those that were bigger than me.

What is the best advice that not only applies both to the field but in life?

You have to have competitive spirit and self-motivation.  Being an undersized athlete and even not a top level athlete you work and grind harder than anybody because you did not get that division 1 scholarship.  I thank everyone that I’ve met that has continued to push me.  For me being the underdog has always pushed me in many aspects to be the best that I could be both on and off the field.  Always accepting a challenge has helped me in my career.

DeAndra’e Woods: Track and Field Head Coach

DeAndra’e Woods running track at Cal State Fullerton. Photo courtesy of Matt Brown

What is the most helpful piece of advice you’ve received?

If you’re not passionate about it, don’t do it.  Make sure that anything that you do, you are going to do it full heartedly.  Whether you are doing it to get a reward from it or you are doing it because you truly love it, make sure that you are giving it everything that you got.  Don’t give anything half effort.

What motto do you live by?

To get through tough times, take  things one step at a time.  If I go one step at a time then that will help me be more productive.  If I understand that my attitude is my decision then that helps as well.  Being in control of my attitude towards any obstacle I face and taking it one step at a time has really helped me get through tough times.

How did you overcome struggles you had as a player?

I came from a very structured high school and was coached by a lot of amazing coaches who had a lot of experience.  Some of them were former Division I coaches and athletes.  When I left high school and went to college I was expecting something similar, but unfortunately our coaching staff did not have that.  That was a challenge for me and it made it harder because my level of seriousness was different than my teammates.  I was a walk on and did not receive a scholarship coming out of high school.  I had to prove myself every day and had an extra chip on my shoulder that pushed me to earn a scholarship by my junior year and be a team captain my sophomore through senior year. Through those challenges I kept reminding myself that I need to enjoy myself and have fun because being an athlete is not forever.

What is the best advice that you would give one of your players that applies to the field and in life as?

Control what you can control in life.  You can have all of the concerns in the world but out of those what can you actually control and how can you control things.  Usually you can only control yourself.  Everyone wants to have fun with what they are doing but if you are not working hard you will not be able to reap the benefits of that hard work.  You have to enjoy the moment and you have to be passionate about what you are doing.  If it is not something you want to do then don’t do it if you are just going to complain.

Pam Gibbons: Head Athletic Trainer

Pam Gibbons walking an injured Chapman athlete to the sideline.  Photo courtesy of Pam Gibbons

What is the most helpful piece of advice you’ve received?

You never know where your next opportunity is going to come from, so take advantage of networking opportunities.  You might shake somebody’s hand and that’s the same person five or ten years from now that you’re going to be working for because you made a good first impression and they remembered you.  You never know where your next opportunity is going to come from.

What motto do you live by?  

“This too shall pass.” The sun is always going to come up tomorrow and it is going to be a new day and you will have a new opportunity to persevere or overcome whatever that current struggle is.  Hopefully you have the support of family and friends to make it easier along the way.  Having a good supporting foundation goes a long way.

What were some struggles that you went through as a player and how did you overcome them?

When I was in high school I was challenged by two male friends of mine to go out for the boys water polo team because there was no girls water polo team and it was a challenge that I accepted.  That was hard because I was the only girl and it was in a climate where girls were not necessarily welcomed in that environment so the coaches and players made it more difficult than it have ever been to be successful and to make the team.  They pretty much tried everything they could to make me quit because I was a girl on the boys team and it didn’t work.  It was nice to have friends that were on the team to help push me.  It was one of those things that I set my mind to and was going to happen.  Hard work and consistency and the want to prove to “you” that I can do this.  Hard work and determination goes a long way.

What is the best advice that you would give one of your players that not only applies to the field but in life as well?

I think it goes back to the first question that you are going to meet people throughout your life and you don’t know how that person is going to impact your life when you have that first initial interaction.  They may come into and out of your life without having ripple or they may have a profound impact on your life.  So giving people an opportunity to be part of your life and to get to know you and what your strengths and weaknesses are goes a long way in how those people are going to impact your life later on down the road.  It could be getting a job or it could be meeting your best friend, you don’t know until you give them an opportunity to get to know you and vice versa.

Kevin Ashton: Football Defensive Line and Strength Coach

Kevin Ashton as a defensive lineman at Humboldt State University. Photo courtesy of Kevin Ashton

What is the most helpful piece of advice you’ve received?

My dad always told me that if you are going to do a job you better do it right.  It doesn’t matter if it is something as small as cleaning the bathroom or as big as running a company you have to do it to the best of your ability.

What motto do you live by?

It all goes back to my father who I consider to be my mentor.  I always think what would he do in that situation no matter what it is.  Whether it has to do with my own kids, or the kids that I am coaching, or my wife.  I always think about and ask myself what would my dad do.

What were some struggles that you went through as a player and how did you overcome them?

Playing wise it was balancing academics and football.  Playing at the Division II level on scholarship they wanted you to be a full-time football player.  In the back of your head you know that your future is with your degree.  You have to find enough time to get all of your school work and studying done but also get all of your obligations towards your football team done as well.  At times it felt like there weren’t enough hours in the day when you are going through that stuff.  I had to take my work on the road and there were a lot of sleepless nights.

What is the best advice that you would give one of your players that not only applies to the field but in life as well?

A lot of what I preach here is grit, growth, intelligence and responsibility and if you stick by those four pillars it can help you succeed in life.  You are growing every day and always learning something new.  Responsibility is always something that comes with growth but it is also important to your character and who you are.  Intelligence is doing the right thing and being smart and especially thinking about situations before you say something or act on it.  Along with that realizing how valuable time is. There is never enough of it and we can never get it back.  Never be late because you are wasting someone else’s time and you can never get that back.  At the end of the day you have to find out the best way to utilize all of the time that you have.

Dallas Hartley: Men’s Head Lacrosse

Dallas Hartley coaching up two of his players during a regular season game. Photo courtesy of Dallas Hartley

What is the most helpful piece of advice you’ve received?

Surround yourself with good people with strong goals and good things will happen to you.

Is there a motto that you life by or something you tell yourself to help you get through tough times? if so what is it?

It’s not always as good as it seems and it’s not always as bad as it seems.  Try to laugh or make people laugh hard everyday.  Breathe, reflect, and make things better for yourself and those close to you.

What were some struggles that you went through as a player and how did you overcome them?

I was late to lacrosse when I started and I didn’t get much playing time my freshman year.  I had to believe that my hard work and studying the game would pay off with playing time.

What is the best advice that you would give one of your players that not only applies to the field but in life as well?

Hard work pays off and how you react and overcome setbacks are everything in life.  Most of my best friends are people I grew up with or played sports with.  Those people know the real you and can help you in bad times and celebrate with you in good times.  Keep them close and do the same for them.

What’s with the parrots on campus? Chapman ornithology professor explains everything you need to know

Flocks of screaming green parrots can be heard – and often seen – above the Chapman campus. Dr. Walter Piper, Chapman biology and ornithology professor, has been studying birds  for 53 years, or “since I was six years old.” The bird lover gave us the lowdown on the noisy birds high above our heads.

Dr. Piper runs The Loon Project, a research project on the nature of loons.
Photo courtesy of Walter Piper


Q: What parrots are on Chapman’s campus?

A: The ones we see commonly around campus are from the genus Aratinga called Mitred Parakeet.  These are the birds that are commonly seen year round and make the harsh screams that can be heard.  There are other species in Orange County including Amazon parrots which are from the genus Amazona. There are sightings of the Amazon Parrots, too but the most commonly seen birds are the Mitred Parakeets.

Q: Are those the smaller green birds?

A: Almost all parrots are green but yes the Mitred Parakeet are majority green with long tails that are narrow towards the end and have reddish or rose colored spots around the face area.  All of the parrots that we see in the area are mostly all green.

Is that a parrot? Many of the green birds seen in Orange are in fact beefy Mitred parakeets.  Photo courtesy of Flickr

Q: How can you tell the difference between the Mitred Parakeet and the Amazon Parrots?

A: The main way we can tell the difference between the two birds is that the Mitred Parakeet have these long thin tails whereas the Amazon Parrots have shorter and stubbier tails.

Q: Where did these parrots originate?

A: The Mitred Parakeet are originally from southern South America, and the Amazon Parrot is from Mexico. A lot of were most likely captured there and then brought to Orange County in the pet trade. They were either released by their owners and then established themselves or possibly released by people who had caught them and were afraid that they would be caught with illegally imported birds.

Parrots from Central and South American have shown an amazing ability to adapt to Orange County.  Photo courtesy from wikimedia.

Q: How are these birds are able to survive in such a different ecosystem?

We have indirectly created an almost perfect ecosystem that allows these birds to thrive in Orange County. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.

A: The main resource that they need is food.  They get majority of their water source from the foods they eat.  In Southern California humans have set up these communities in which we irrigate and we have established all of these fruit trees that we have put out and as a result this provides a lot of opportunities for these Parrots to eat.  We have set up a situation for them that is just as good if not better than what they would naturally have.

Q: What do they eat?

A: They are very good at finding food ranging from anything like palm nuts, to various fruits and berries that they find on trees.  In the tropics, they are used to eating off all the fruit on one tree then moving to the next tree that is fruiting and it creates a cycle and that is what they are doing here in Southern California.

The mitred parakeet enjoy eating a wide variety of fruits and seeds they find in orange county.  Photo courtesy of wikimedia.

Q: Is their presence cause an imbalance in our ecosystem?

A: I do not think so.  We are setting out these fruit trees that would not have existed here otherwise and now we have parrots here that would not have existed otherwise and they are both unnatural species that are now present in Southern California.  We have made almost the entire region unnatural so I don’t think there is a problem. The parrots do not appear to interact negatively with any of the native species of birds. Some people thought that they might compete for these holes that can be found in trees where they are found to nest but luckily there are not many other species of birds that can live in the suburbs like the parrots, so there are not any other competitors for these nest holes.

We have indirectly created an almost perfect ecosystem that allows these birds to thrive in Orange County.  Photo courtesy of wikimedia.

Q: Do their numbers appear to be rising, falling, or remaining the same?

A: If anything they are most likely rising. San Diego also has a population of parrots and in Los Angeles around the Pasadena area there is a huge population of parrots.

Q: Could these parrots be kept as pets?

A: They are just as wild as the ones that are produced in their natural places in South America.  If you raise a nestling from an egg then it will be tame and it will not bite but if you take a wild caught bird and you try to put it in a cage that was raised by its parents in the wild then it will not make a good pet.

Parrots have thrived in Orange County because they have few predators and their big beaks and aggressive nature often deter any hawks that contemplate conscripting them into meals. Photo courtesy of wikipedia.

Parrots from Central and South American have shown an amazing ability to adapt to Orange County. Photo courtesy from wikimedia.

Q: Do they have any predators?

A: Not a lot here because in the city and the suburbs there are not as many raptors, hawks, and falcons that would normally try to eat them.  It is a pretty good situation for them from that standpoint. Parrots are pretty nasty birds to try to tangle with anyway because they have a tendency to bite.  They have a big bill that makes them pretty dangerous. They have fewer predators here than they would normally have in their natural habitat.

Nothing like a mother’s love: Chapman students list what they miss most about their moms

Shared laughter during “Lifetime movies, a sympathetic ear, encouragement, compassion, a common languageWe miss all kinds of things about our moms when we go to college. For Mothers’ Day, Prowl spoke to Chapman students about what they miss most about the woman who, for many of us, is our best advocate, therapist and friend.

Jorge Hernandez, junior, international business and Spanish double major

Fun times back home in San Jose with Junior Jorge Hernandez and his mom Rosemary Hernandez. Photo courtesy of Jorge Hernandez

I miss having my mom there to talk to about anything – personal issues or something work-related. It’s nice to have someone there to reassure me that everything is going to be okComing home every day and seeing my mom, I was always filled with joy and relief because knowing that no matter what kind of day I had, good or badmy mom would love me unconditionally. 

Sixtine Foucaut, sophomore, communication and Spanish double major

Sophomore Sixtine Foucaut and her mom Aurélie Foucaut in the Tuileries Gardens in Paris. Photo Courtesy of Sixtine Foucaut

My brother and I were born in Paris but moved to California when we were little. I always admired how my mom was able to keep in touch with our family in France despite the time difference and busy life she leads. I really miss being with my momNot many students at Chapman speak French so I always love chatting with my mom and practicing the language when we see each other.

Matt Davidson, junior, business major

Junior Matt Davidson and his mom Julie Davidson at Matt’s sister’s wedding in Carmel, California. Photo Courtesy of Matt Davidson

I really miss my mom’s hug and touch. Communication over the phone is one thing but actually being able to physically be there and have her in my presence and be able to hug her is very important to me. When we are born as babies we are placed on our mother’s chest and that instant bond is something that is very calming and warm. My mom is the person who brought me into this world and having the opportunity to hug my mom is a very rewarding thing to me.

Anthony Gonzales, freshman, business major

Selfie taken by freshman Anthony Gonzales with his mom Kimberly Gonzales.

I miss the times when me and my mom would talk about musicShe always tried to make me dance, especially when we had company over. I miss being in my house and walking by the T.V. and seeing my mom watching Lifetime documentaries and not being able to resist and watching them with her. I always knew there was a seat waiting for me next to her to sit down and share that moment together. I miss her sixth sense of when I would be hungry and she would bring me something to eat without me asking or saying anything. I especially miss my mom’s enthusiasm and hearing about the hard work she does.

Avery Silverberg, junior, creative writing major

Selfie taken by Junior Avery Silverberg and her mom Janice Silverberg on Mother’s Day 2018 at the Irvine Spectrum Center.

She would always take me out to get sushi when I was in high school.  It was our special time together where I could vent to her about anything that was bugging me or just laugh and have a good time. I always felt that there was something special about bonding over a sushi dinner that is very comforting to me.