TERRE HAUTE — Three members of the Indiana State athletics strength and conditioning staff, including two from Terre Haute, have advanced their careers and moved on to other opportunities.
Daniel Watson, former graduate assistant from Terre Haute North, has been hired by Rocky Mountain College to serve an assistant football coach and the head strength and conditioning coach.
Matt Seliger, also a former graduate assistant and North Patriot, has been hired by Athletes’ Performance in Frisco, Texas, to serve as an intern.
Watson completed his master’s in exercise science/coaching in the spring. While at ISU, he oversaw the program design and implementation for the golf, baseball, and softball teams. Watson also assisted with the pole vaulters.
“My time at ISU prepared me by providing a knowledgeable background and extensive experience in sport-specific team training,” Watson said. “I can’t thank the strength and conditioning staff, PE staff, athletic administration, fellow athletic coaches and athletes enough for my wonderful two years as a Sycamore.”
Watson is a 2011 graduate of Marian University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in exercise science with a focus in sports performance. While at Marian, he was a four-year member of the inaugural football team on which he served as a team captain. Watson also competed on the track team.
Seliger also completed his master’s in exercise science/coaching in the spring. He oversaw the program design and implementation for soccer, baseball, and the jumpers from the track team.
Seliger was a three-time letter-winner on the Sycamore football team, earning the President’s Council Academic Excellence Award from the Missouri Valley Conference in the spring of 2011 for receiving Missouri Valley Football Honor Roll all four years.
A third member of the ISU staff, former graduate assistant Devin Dubois, has been hired by Baylor Athletic Performance to serve as an assistant.
Filling their spots on the Sycamore staff are former football standouts Dillon Painter and Luke Harris and former grad assistant Andre Wadley Jr.
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* Bits and pieces — Former Linton and Ball State golfing standout Rachael Pruett has been named associate head coach for both men’s and women’s golf at Cleveland State University, a Division I program which competes in the Horizon League.
“We are extremely excited to add Rachael to the Viking golf family,” CSU head coach Steven Weir said. “I think that she will continue to help us move forward as a program.”
Pruett, who served as a graduate assistant at Ball State the last two years, is very happy to start her professional coaching career.
“All of the pieces just fell into place,” she said. “It was what they were looking for and what I was looking for in my first full-time coaching job.
“It’s about helping the next bunch of young golfers reach their potential and reach their dream of playing competitive golf to the best of their ability.”
* Former Indiana State and Rockville basketball standout R.J. Mahurin has had a big year. He announced in the spring he is transferring to Indiana Wesleyan for his final year of eligibility, he got married earlier this month, and he and his IWU teammates are preparing to leave for a summer trip to New Zealand.
Mahurin will be recording his thoughts on how things are going at his new blog, which can be found at http://rjmahurin33.wordpress.com and his first entry earlier this week was about the retirement of his father as Rockville’s coach.
* Mahurin’s former ISU teammate, Justin Gant, will spend five days in Dayton starting Saturday at a training camp for Athletes in Action to prepare for its trip to Africa next month.
On Aug. 1 the group will fly to Abijan, Ivory Coast, where they will spend the balance of the tour through Aug. 10.
* Holy Cross (Ind.) basketball standout Francesca McCarthy of Terre Haute North was on the ChicagoLand Athletic Academic All-Conference team this spring with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
* Trent Miles is no stranger to rebuilding jobs, having turned Indiana State’s football program from one of the worst to one of the best at its level.
He apparently has a similar task again this year, as Athlon Sports has published rankings of the 125 FBS teams and has Miles’ Georgia State squad — moving up from FCS for the first time — ranked last among those teams.
* Teaching colleague Bethany Jones has joined the ranks of people with viral videos. She and her husband Scott, co-owners of FS the Magazine, were in attendance for the Terre Haute Rex Prospect League game at Hannibal, Mo., recently when a pre-game skydiver crashed into a Hannibal player.
Jones recorded the event on video, and it has now attracted more than one million views on YouTube. The clip ran on ESPN SportsCenter and was scheduled to run on ESPN’s Sports Nation.
Jones was also contacted by ABC News, Good Morning America and Fox News asking permission to use her video.
The video can be seen on YouTube under the title “Baseball player drop kicked by skydiver.”
Joey Bennett is a former Tribune-Star sports reporter and copy editor who now teaches at Northview High School in Brazil. He can be reached at email@example.com.