“Exciting, busy, overwhelming, enjoyable.”
The words Athletic Director, Lynn Tubman, used to sum up her overall experience as she enters the final two months of year one at the helm of Muhlenberg Athletics.
After nine gratifying years leading a DII athletics program at Chestnut Hill College in the Philadelphia area, Tubman, from the moment she was hired for the job, has been motivated in the growth of Muhlenberg and its athletics department.
“Muhlenberg is already an established, competitive program and I believe there is a strong foundation where there is an abundance of opportunity to continue grow and improve,” said Tubman.
“Being new in a position is always a challenge. There are many that are unexpected. Having to learn how an institution operates, learning the personalities of coaches, staff as well as the athletes,” added Tubman. “You must also become familiar with the culture of the community. However, I believe there is a solution to every problem and with a helpful support system, that solution can be found.”
In her time in Allentown she has truly learned a lot about the individuals who guide and teach the young, talented student-athletes. Praising their devotion to the growth of young athletes, Tubman said, “Muhlenberg has an extremely dedicated group of head coaches and athletic staff that are open to learning more about the institution as a whole. They are competitive, with drive for athletic success, who understand the big picture and the importance of being a member to the Muhlenberg community.”
Year one has virtually flown by, but it would not be complete without at least one surprise along the way. For Tubman and the staff who work quietly on the second floor of the Life Sports Center, the Bieber Bus Company ceasing their operations in February was perhaps the biggest of them all.
Working through the dire situation Tubman commented, “we had staff on the phones, making calls to make sure all our teams had transportation.”
Looking back on the 10 months at her new position, Tubman is always analysing and reflecting upon each and every decision that is made with improvement of the department at the forefront of attention.
While always envisioning ways for improvement, she understands that there s no tougher critic than herself. Although that may be the case Tubman says, “I try not to second guess myself or my decisions and look towards the past, but rather on how we can make those changes and improve things moving forward. I also think it is vital to make sure you have collected all the necessary information and not make a rushed decision.”
The short-term projects and goals, sought after by the department, are still in the assessment phase. Tubman and her staff will meet with all the Fall, Winter and Spring student-athletes and provide a survey which has found to be extremely beneficial as they provide feedback for improvement in bettering the development the student-athlete experience.
“This is why we are in the business; to provide the best student-athlete experience. It may be as small as improving meals on the road or transportation, but we are listening,” Tubman often offers as advice.
A long-term objective, identified by Tubman, is to devise a comprehensive strategic plan for Muhlenberg athletics. A plan that will outline their priorities surrounding “operating budgets, personnel, facilities and increasing revenue generation,” Tubman stated.
“We must also be prepared to discuss with the administration those priorities and make sure they align with the college’s,” she added. Once these discussions have been had, the door for long-term and immediate success will be unlocked.
As year two is around the corner, there is much that Tubman is looking forward to. “Continuing to grow, moving forward in a positive direction and progress,” Tubman noted. She also hopes the efforts being made behind scenes like those with Alumni Affairs and the College Committee on Fitness and Athletics become more visible to the Muhlenberg community.
In two months, Tubman will reach the one year mark at Muhlenberg and following her nine year stint at Chestnut Hill, the similarities between have been refreshing for her.
“Whether the institution is DI, DII or DII, many of them face the same challenges and ultimately have the same goals as well in providing the best educational and athletic experience for the student-athletes,” Tubman stated.
This feeling of similarity is enabling Tubman to perform to the best of her abilities. “It gives me the confidence that I can assist Muhlenberg in identifying where exactly we strive to be and how to get there, especially with student-athletes, coaches and staff who have the same goals in mind.”
As her rookie season comes to a close, Tubman looks to return for her sophomore year and improve upon the mark she left in year one and continue the advancement of Muhlenberg Athletics.