By Genesis Torres, Staff Writer
Athletic director Derrick Johnson has managed to accomplish great depths throughout the athletics program in a matter of months, as he works into converting MCC into a winning mindset.
“The hope is to grow the program and to make it better, as we eventually add additional sports and create student access. I think one of the main priorities is to make sure that our transferring-graduation rates are increasing more than they were,” Johnson said.
The program was handed to Johnson at the beginning of the year, and one of his first major changes was bringing back golf. Johnson believes that golf was an increasing market across our county, which also included the high schools who offered golf. So, Johnson gave out a survey to on-campus students, and within a few days the director received 130 responses in favor of bringing back golf.
As the program advanced, Johnson hoped that all students would have better experiences with sports as MCC partnered with different businesses in order to offer their athletes easier access to meals and doctors regarding health.
“We have more resources than any other two-year institution that I’ve been at in our region; our facilities are five times better than any other school in our region with maybe the exception of two or three; therefore, we as administrators, have to work in changing a certain perception on recruiting student athletes,” he said.
With these resources, Johnson hopes recruiting opportunities will increase.
He emphasizes on the key roles that coaches should take in bringing new student-athletes. In addition, Johnson is also exploring possibilities into moving into division two, which enables MCC into offering athletic scholarships.
“The most challenging part of my jobs is managing personalities, but one of the most challenging parts right now is changing the culture of a program that has been stagnant in certain areas,“ he said.
Johnson said his vision is to become the top two-year institution in athletics and in academics, and becoming a constant national contender in every sport, as well as increasing the rate in the transferring and graduating student-athlete spectrum.
“The best part of my job is working with students. If I could be out of the office, I would work with students all day. I’ve sat through various, however many years, of college administration, but the best part is on graduation day when you see your students walking across the stage,” he said.
Johnson’s vision is to simply better the student-athlete experience, grow the program and to get back to a winning tradition.