As head football coach for Rensselaer Central High School, Chris Meeks '92 led the Rensselaer Bombers to victory in the 2014 IHSAA 2A Football State Championship.
High School: Rensselaer Central High School
Major: Physical Education
Current Residence: Rensselaer, IN
What are you doing now?
Currently, I am a physical education teacher and driving education instructor at Rensselaer Central High School. This is my 23rd year of teaching and my 20th year at Rensselaer Central. I have also been the head varsity football coach for the past 16 years at Rensselaer.
Why did you choose SJC?
I chose SJC for many reasons. First of all, it was close to my home and very convenient. Secondly, SJC is nationally recognized for its great education, particularly the Core Program. I loved the idea of attending a smaller college where the professors and students actually know each other and lasting relationships are built.
As a student, what was your experience like at SJC?
It was a great experience. I had the opportunity to meet students from many parts of the country. I really enjoyed the small classes as well.
What experiences did you appreciate most in the department of your major?
SJC offers some excellent opportunities for PLE experiences, where you can get great hands-on experience in the local schools working with teachers and students. I also enjoyed the expertise of my professors and the practical experiences that were provided.
How did SJC prepare you for your coaching career?
Many of my SJC Physical Education professors were excellent college coaches. They provided many of experiences. It was also great to network with former Pumas with coaching experience.
How were the faculty members in your department helpful to you?
The faculty members in the SJC Department of Physical Education were very helpful in my journey to become a teacher and coach. To this day, I still think back to many great class discussions that I had in Professor Linda Taulman's classes and the many experiences Coach Bill Jennings used to bring to the classroom. I remember having a class at the athletic director's house, Coach William Hogan '74, and listening to his many experiences as an athletic director in my Athletic Administration class. The football coach at the time was William Reagan '74. It was great to be able to pick his brain and learn about his philosophies of coaching football. I still stay in touch with Coach Reagan, who is currently employed by the University of Notre Dame.
How did Core integrate with your major?
The Core Program gave me the opportunity to become a better speaker and writer. I developed a confidence in my communication skills, which is so important in teaching and coaching. Core also exposed me to many cultures. By studying these cultures, I am able to relate to and understand the various ethnicities of my students.
What advice would you give to a prospective student looking to major in what you did at SJC?
My advice to a prospective student is to take a close look at the many opportunities that SJC will provide for you to receive hands-on experience in the classroom. SJC has a great working relationship with the area schools. You will receive a great education in Physical Education and be able to apply and experiment with what you have learned in your PLE and student teaching experiences. The education and experience I received at SJC have had a huge influence on who I am today. I am proud to be a Puma!
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