During a two-day gathering Feb. 20-21, the Erskine Board of Trustees, led by Board Chair Jill Gazzaway of Davidson, N.C., received reports from Erskine athletics, toured two campus construction projects, and enjoyed dinner at the President’s Home.
Director of Athletics Mark Peeler provided an update on Erskine’s collegiate sports and introduced three young coaches who are “doing things the Fleet Way—Christ-centered, competitive, and community-focused”—and the coaches also spoke to the trustees.
Dylan Anderson serves as head coach for both cross country and track and field, the latter sport inaugurated at Erskine this year. He said the cross country team has been the “cornerstone” of the new track and field program, and also noted that the women’s cross country team placed second in Conference Carolinas this year after seven years in last place. “What’s been special with this new team has been designing community,” the coach said, adding that prayer has been central to that effort.
Kara Christian Mays, head acrobatics and tumbling coach, offered an overview of the relatively new sport, which combines elements of cheerleading, diving, trampolining, tumbling, and gymnastics. Of 33 acrobatics and tumbling teams across the United States, Erskine’s is the newest. Mays encourages team members to be strong, to be accountable to one another, and to be good communicators. “God led me here for a reason,” she said, “and it has been really amazing to be here and start this program.”
Ryan Teems, a 2019 Erskine graduate and now head bass fishing coach, expressed gratitude to the trustees, saying “the support and design we have for this program is incredible.” He told Board members, “Erskine is where I found my faith, my passion for bass fishing, and my passion for ministry. Erskine opened my heart to God and to ministry.” Teems said next year’s roster will include 24 team members, among them five Bass Master All American high school seniors. He hopes to open up opportunities for scholarships, internships, and sponsorships for his team members.
The trustees were given a tour of two construction sites on campus, the football field house and new student apartments, known as “The Villages.”
“It is very exciting to see these projects come to life,” Gazzaway said.
Erskine President Dr. Robert Gustafson and his wife Beth Gustafson hosted a dinner for Board members Thursday evening.