Put aside the swim cap and Speedo, it is time for the cap and gown.
After a 14-year swimming career, senior kinesiology major Nelson Head is preparing to launch a career in medicine.
Head and 54 other student athletes are expected to receive their diplomas this May, Director of Athletics Media Relations Mark Cohen said.
And as the NCAA commercials say, “Most will go pro in something other than sports.”
Though Head still intends to swim a couple times per week, he said it is time to focus on his career. He said he plans to spend a year working as a medical scribe in a Dallas-Fort Worth area hospital before going to medical school, where he hopes to study pediatric oncology.
“I think that medicine and the human body are fascinating,” Head said. “Cancer is a different kind of disease. No cancer is the same for any one person, and swimming has definitely provided me with really good self-discipline and determination for being able to balance school and other things.”
After waking up at 5:30 a.m. four days per week for swim practice, Head said it is weird having so much extra time this semester.
For senior biology major Meghan Horio, who is retiring her volleyball uniform, this semester marked the first time she did not have to plan her class schedule around afternoon practices.
“It’s been really nice having time off, giving me more time to mature out of [volleyball] and focus on school,” Horio said.
While some athletes consider playing professionally after college, like the TCU football players entering the NFL draft, Horio said professional competition will not be an option for her.
“As I got more involved in my major, I realized that if biology is something I love and want to pursue, then it definitely involves a lot more school,” Horio said. “I got all the experience in traveling that I ever wanted to playing volleyball, so four years is definitely satisfying enough for me.”
Horio said she intends to continue playing volleyball recreationally while she takes a year off school to get her GRE and work in a crime lab. Then, she plans to go to graduate school to study forensic science.
Horio’s teammate Sloane Sunstrum is shelving her knee pads and spandex as well, but she is not leaving TCU. Sunstrum plans to stay another year to receive her master’s degree in accounting before beginning her job in the tax department at the Deloitte company in Dallas.
Sunstrum’s younger sister will be a sophomore on the TCU volleyball team in the fall. Being a graduate student and having her sister on the team will keep Sunstrum close to her home court of the past four years, as she said she plans to come to as many home games as possible.
For Molly Welsh, a senior on the women's tennis team, the athletic experience was enough and coaching isn't of great interest.
Welsh, a strategic communication and Spanish double major, said she might coach tennis as a side job, but for now, she wants to focus on a career relating to her majors.
“I’m glad that I’m moving on to a new stage in my life,” Welsh said. “I’m very excited to see what the future has to hold and also continue to play tennis, but just not at the level that I played here at TCU.”
On May 11, her racket and purple uniform will not be necessary, only a purple cap and gown.