Every year, Truman State’s athletic programs go through the ritual of saying goodbye to senior students and hello to newcomers. Less common, but arguably more impactful, is when coaches decide to join or leave these programs. While not committed to four-year terms like the athletes, many coaches grow during their time in these programs just as much as the athletes they coach, and the programs can leave lasting impacts on their lives.
Cathy Monroe, former associate head softball coach, and Jeramey Dockery, football defensive line coach, are two examples of individuals who have used Truman Athletics as a stepping stone in their coaching careers.
Monroe served as a softball coach at Truman for nine seasons before landing the head coaching position at the Missouri University of Science & Technology last offseason. She spent seven years at Truman as an assistant and the last two as an associate head coach.
Monroe says going from assistant coaching to head coaching can be a tough endeavor, but because of circumstances last spring, Monroe says she was able to get a taste for it before getting her first full-time gig.
“I was somewhat prepared for [head coaching] because my last year at Truman, Erin Brown, the current head coach, had her second child early in our spring season and was comfortable giving me more responsibilities while she was out for a brief time,” Monroe says.
Monroe says such an experience was valuable and made the transition to coaching at Missouri S&T much easier for her. But Monroe says it has not left her without challenges. Monroe says one of the challenges as a head coach is feeling more responsible for the outcome of a game. Aside from that, Monroe says her biggest challenge is lacking a full-time assistant coach at Missouri S&T.
While Monroe says it was difficult to leave Truman behind after forming many long-standing relationships with the coaching staff, colleagues and players, she says it always has been a career goal to become a head coach. She says she hopes to make Missouri S&T competitive in the GLVC and, ultimately, the NCAA, and she says her position at Missouri S&T won’t be just about the team’s record.
“Outside of wins and losses, I take great pride in the opportunity to develop, challenge and empower young women to make a difference in the world,” Monroe says.
Monroe is not alone in making the most of the Truman coaching experience. Dockery was a player and student assistant for Truman during his five years of school here. After graduating and leaving Truman football, he coached the defensive line at Southwest Minnesota State University, but after a season of coaching for the Mustangs, he returned to Truman to coach the same position.
Dockery says the main reason he came back to Truman was to help develop and push the program he played for to win a conference championship. He says coaching at the school he played for drives him to help the players on this team realize that goal.
Dockery says he greatly appreciated and always will remember his time at Southwest Minnesota and the connections it has provided him in the coaching world.
“I now know guys coaching all over the country from the D-I level to high school, and can call on them for advice and to talk ball,” Dockery says. “Some of the things I do now are because of the group of guys I coached with at Southwest.”
Having the ability to pursue his two passions — coaching football and strength and conditioning — was another big reason why Dockery says he decided to return to his alma mater. Dockery says he is proud to continue the program’s excellence beyond his playing years and says he has a strong level of commitment to Bulldog football.
Both Dockery and Monroe says they are thankful for the experience they acquired while coaching in Bulldog athletics and appreciate Truman’s role in helping them shape their futures.