Climbing the Coaching Ladder: Jeremey Gee
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
What inspired you to get involved in coaching?
I began as a high school math teacher and track and field Coach, interests of mine since my sophomore year in high school. I had several influential teachers and coaches in my life that inspired me to enter the field.
What was it that drew you to the Ivy League?
The timing was perfect. Being a full-time coach and math teacher consumed a lot of my time because of the commitment to excellence I wished to provide to all of my students and student-athletes, therefore I decided to only pursue one of the two. Several months later I got a phone call from Harvard's new head track coach [Jason Saretsky].
What are some things that were not expected, or have taken you by surprise so far here as a coach in the League?
The competitiveness of the League is what surprised me the most. Being from California, you don't hear much about Ivy League track and field, but I have enjoyed Ivy competitions thus far, especially the Heptagonal Championships.
Given the resources, what is something you would change with regards to your job?
If we had the resources I believe Ivy League track and field would benefit from traveling to compete in more meets outside the Northeast, showing the rest of the country that you can get a great athletic experience while receiving the best education.
What are some of your goals and aspirations?
I have several goals and aspirations but the two most related to my sport are to become a head coach and to coach an Olympian.
In regards to some of my more personal goals, I definitely want to get married and start a family. I really value the family ideal so that is something that's very important to me. Other than that, I'd just really like to be a good samaritan. Coming up, there were many people that stepped up and served as a positive influence in my life. I'd really like to pay that forward by becoming an advocate in the community.
Based on your experiences, what can you say to help improve opportunities for minorities in college athletic administration and coaching?
One of the big things I can say is to just keep your options open. I remember when Jason first called me up, I was like "Are you kidding me?" It was just one of those things where I had never been here, and didn't know anything about it, other than the name itself.
Truthfully, I did not think I'd feel comfortable, but once I got here I realized how good the community was, and the diversity and culture were better than I ever expected. I can imagine that a lot of other people — maybe minorities, in particular — that wouldn't consider applying for a coaching job at a place like Harvard because they had the same preconceived notions that I had. Coming from California, I just did not know what to expect and I assumed what it would be like. That mentality could have closed a door for me. But, as it turns out, Harvard is a place I've come to enjoy and I feel comfortable here.
I'd just tell an aspiring coach to get out there and investigate, take a visit and don't be afraid to see a new place.
The Ivy League takes great pride in honoring February as Black History month. For all of the inspiring stories about former athletes that helped shape movements within African-American history, please check out Ivy Black History.