The University of Indianapolis has graduated many students since its establishment in 1902. Among those students have been many who have participated in one or more of the 21 sports the university offers.
Yet once their college career ended, many hung up their Greyhound gear to begin their lives and start their careers. For Head Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Coach Kathy Casey and her graduate assistant Brad Robinson, however, that was not necessarily the case.
After graduating from UIndy, Casey, who graduated in 1990, and Robinson, who graduated in 2007, returned to the university as coaches to lead the cross country program they participated in as student athletes.
Casey and Robinson represent a group of individuals in the athletics department who returned to their alma mater to coach a sport, and according to the both of them, returning to UIndy has made their careers enjoyable.
“I think I take a little more pride in my situation knowing what the university used to be like and how much it’s grown,” Casey said. “All the extra facilities [and] amenities that the kids have at this point [have shown the university’s growth]. I’m just grateful for the situation.”
Robinson said that he embraces the opportunity he’s been given to be able to return to the university he attended as a student-athlete.
“It [being at UIndy] adds a lot to it [the enjoyment of coaching],” Robinson said. “The fact that I’ve been here adds a lot more meaning [to what I do], [as opposed] to if I were just to go into any other program and try to build it up. It [working for another university] just doesn’t have quite that connection.”
Robinson said that since returning to UIndy, he has seen improvement in the program, and that the teams hope to continue that trend.
“I know where the program was and where we’d like to see the program go,” he said. “So it gives me that connection of helping create that vision for current student athletes and where they want to go.”
Casey, who graduated before Robinson, has gained more of an in-depth perspective on how the sport of cross country and the university have changed over the decades.
“Cross country as a whole is a pretty humble group, and pretty fashioned in family. So I wouldn’t say so much that it’s changed in that aspect,” Casey said. “There are different people who have different goals when they’re here, and they progress at different rates. But I’m here for all of them, for whatever their goals are.”
Robinson also said that the competition in cross country has escalated to greater heights than he has ever seen since he competed as a Greyhound years ago.
“Competition wise, we have had to raise our game to stay in the top five for our conference every year,” Robinson said. “The times that teams are running now are well beyond what it was when I was here.”
Even though the times have changed and the sports have evolved at UIndy, alums such as Casey and Robinson have maintained the sense of tradition passed down to the current generation from their past experiences as Greyhounds.