Bellevue College’s athletic program has 10 different teams: men’s basketball, women’s basketball, baseball, cross country, golf, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, softball, women’s tennis and volleyball. All of these teams are different, but they all share a common goal, says Bill O’Connor, the athletic director of Bellevue College. “Our mission is to make sure that we do have competitive teams, that we do have coaches that are dedicated to their players, that we send both female and male players to four-year schools, that we do everything that we possibly can, and …get scholarships for these players.
As the athletic director, I do not envision adding more programs than what we have right now. We want to concentrate [on] building and maintaining the 10 programs we have now. …I don’t foresee any addition to collegia[te] sports.” The baseball team recently traveled to Arizona. While at the Brewers spring training facility there, they trained and played games against the San Francisco Giants’ minor league club and many other teams ahead of them. The team just got back from their long trip on Wednesday, March 13. Not a lot of teams get the chance to travel and train in the best facilities and against minor professional clubs. Although the Bulldogs had a rough couple of days, having a record of 0-6 during their trip to Texas, they gained much from their experience. “Every year we send players to four-year schools,” says O’Connor. “I think right now, before the season even started or just started, we have 11 or 12 players committed to going to four-year schools. Those are the things that embody what a good program is all about…sending kids to four-year schools. It’s about the academics, and making them eligible, and staying competitive to other team[s] in our division.”
One of the aspects that O’Connor would like to see improvement in is the recruitment section. “I am happy being the athletic director,” he says. “I can’t really point [to] any one thing that we need to do better, but we need to stay on top [of] recruiting, because recruiting is the foundation [to] how successful your team is going to be. We just have to continue to recruit the type[s] of players…that will make our team very competitive.
Our long-term goal here is [to see] if they have the ability to play professional sport[s]. To date, the only program we have here…that we have sent professional players to [has] been our baseball program.”