Sheryl Sousa, Day 1: Getting ready for the trip of a lifetime

Tuesday, August 14, 2013 - departure day

We leave today for Croatia.  I can't believe the departure day is finally here.  Our men's basketball coach, Brian Meehan, and I first talked about this trip years ago and to see it come to life is truly amazing.  Coach Meehan is a firm believer in the benefits of a foreign trip experience for his teams and he has seen the positive results.  Five years ago, the Judges traveled to Italy, and that season we reached the NCAA tournament Elite Eight for the first time in decades.  This is a special group of players, one of our most talented in years, and they too have the ability to reach national prominence.  All of us are hoping that this trip will be the catalyst for an exciting and successful season to follow.

At the very least, it will be a once in a lifetime experience.  That is one of the reasons to make the trip.  I couldn’t imagine when else I would have the opportunity to travel to Croatia.  But the deciding factor was because of this team, and what a truly great group they are.  

Before becoming AD eight years ago I had coached women’s volleyball for 11 seasons.  I’m often asked if I miss coaching.  My answer is always the same: “I really love what I’m doing now, so I don’t miss coaching, but I do really miss the daily interactions with the student-athletes.”  As an administrator, you just don’t get the opportunity to know the student-athletes the way coaches do, and I do miss that part of the job. Traveling with our Brandeis teams on occasion is one way that I try to maintain that connection.  And what better opportunity than 12 days to Croatia?

This is also my first time to Europe.  I’m guessing that I won’t be the only one in the travel party and I’m looking forward to learning who else shares that distinction.  

We have a full itinerary planned – traveling throughout the country, staying in three different cities, playing three games, daily tours and excursions – and I’ll be reporting back each night on the day's adventures.  We’re in store for a cultural and basketball experience like no other.  I can’t wait.

You can also follow me on twitter (@judgesAD) for regular updates between blog posts.

Sheryl Sousa
Brandeis University
Director of Athletics