James Bethel

James Bethel
Saugerties, NY
Year of Graduation

After Oneonta

James graduated in May 2019 and will continue his education at the University of Chester in England, where he  received a graduate assistantship to study sport management.

Why SUNY Oneonta?

I chose SUNY Oneonta because of the wrestling coaches here. Actually, one reached out to me during my senior year of high school. And, after scouting potential options, I looked into Oneonta a lot, and I wanted to be an education major at the time so it was a perfect fit. I had coaches that would support me and a program that would help me.

My Activities

Student Director of College Foundation Board, Student Athlete Advisor Committee representative for wrestling team, State University of New York Athletic Conference Student Athlete Advisory Committee

Best Experiences

Attending the 2016 NCAA Annual Convention in Texas was an opportunity afforded me by Oneonta, and it really helped me at that time. I went down for their Student Immersion Program and got to sit in legislative meetings for the Big Ten Conference, and that was eye-opening for me. It’s something I really hold special because it gave me a peek into the realm of athletic administration and helped me realize that’s what I want to do.

In my time here I’ve had a lot of opportunities to really get myself involved, and that's one of the things that I'm really truly thankful to be at Oneonta for. -- because I looked into college to pursue wrestling initially and made a smart choice to turn down D1 offers. And I’m very happy I did, because I would’ve been a number, kind of like fodder for the machine. But here, I have been able to individualize myself, brand myself as a person and as a potential employee. There are a lot of networking opportunities here and chances to find something that’s going to help you in your future.

What I’ll Remember in 20 Years

I’ll remember little things around campus, like walking past a group of people on a nice day and having everyone waving at you … people you don't necessarily even know but you’ve seen in passing. Things like that just kind of foster that little bit of community bonding. Or going to the gym and seeing the same people there all the time. It's really nice to go in there and have that friendly environment. Overall, I've had all positive experiences at Oneonta.

Plans, Goals, Dreams

I applied to a post-graduate internship, so I'll hopefully be doing a year in Indianapolis. And then, in the ideal world, I would go on to two years at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and get my master's there. Then – find stability, find a nice place to settle down and work my way through the ranks and get to where I want to be, which is ultimately an athletic director. I really want to get myself into athletic administration, with the overall goal of being an AD.

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