Weems is quick to make her voice heard
Monday, December 31, 2012
To listen to Director of Athletics Heather Weems speak is to hear her passion for the student athlete experience.
Since stepping into her new role six months ago at St. Cloud State, Weems’ days and evenings have been filled with meetings from greeting her coaches and staff to introductory sessions with individual teams, campus and community members and booster groups.
Weems began her journey to athletics director as the coordinator of student athlete support services at the University of Denver. She became an assistant athletics director for student athlete support services and later was associate athletics director for internal operations and later for student services and compliance. By the time she left Denver in 2008 she was the associate athletics director for student services and compliance. In January of 2009, she landed in her home state of Iowa as the associate athletics director/senior woman administrator at Drake University.
She said she became an athletic administrator to change lives and thought she could make the most impact in collegiate athletics working directly with the student athletes.
“My a-ha moment came when I realized it was the coaches who changed the lives of student athletes. It was the coaches who, day to day, three to four hours a day, and on weekends traveling with the team, made the biggest impact,” Weems said.
If she can help the coaches do their best, then ultimately she has had an impact on the student athletes.
“I consider myself a coaches’ administrator because I believe in what they do. I believe my job is to facilitate and empower them to do theirs.”
Weems loves college athletics because at the end of the day, student athletes are touchable. “They are real and different from what you see in professional sports. Fans and young people can come up, say hello to them, get an autograph, and see that our student athletes are balancing their academic, social and athletic lives, and do it in a positive way.”
A native of Adel, Iowa, Weems holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa and a master’s degree from the University of Denver. She was a member for the University of Iowa rowing team, earning Academic All-Big Ten Conference honors from 1995-97.