by Kae Dennert
Cal Poly Humboldt’s Athletic department has gone through multiple Athletic Directors (A.D.) in the past four years. Most recently hired is Dr. Nick Pettit, who has been officially on staff as the A.D. for two months. Pettit joined Cal Poly Humboldt’s staff after being a part of Cal Poly San Luis Obisbo’s team as their A.D. for seven years.
Pettit is aware of the distrust in the A.D. title that student athletes hold because of how many directors have been in and out of the institution.
“[It’s] my first month on the job and [I’m] learning a lot about the transition here, and I think a lot of that is coming in with an open mind,” Pettit said. “I’m here to support [coaches and students] and lead them to success, overtime if you do those right things, you start to build a culture. You don’t just get trust by walking in the door.”
As Pettit is coming from an established California Polytechnic school to one who just gained their title a year and a half ago, he has many goals to hold us to a standard of excellence that the Cal Poly name is known for.
“I saw the way Cal Poly [San Luis Obispo] performs on a really high academic level, and that was part of the draw for me,” Pettit said. “[It is important]– for not only the institution, but the whole state in the polytechnic and STEM focus moving forward– what that can do for the institution.”
Pettit is excited to grow athletics and campus recreation overtime with the title and have a part in developing the campus’ growth. He is focused on bettering the student athlete experience, as well as working on their average grades and graduation rates.
“There’s a great groundwork set. There are phenomenal coaches and great student athletes,” Pettit said. “So being in a position to repeat [winning national titles] is exciting and hopefully we can make another push again this year.”
Pettit has been in the CSU system for nineteen years. He has a good understanding of the system that Humboldt runs on, so he wants to work on knowing names and faces on our campus.
“It takes time to develop. You don’t just walk in and wave a magic wand and everything is championships and degrees,” Pettit said. “It takes some time to get there, coming in with a plan and executing that, you win with people.”
Student-athletes have been reaching out asking for connections for a diversity, equity, and inclusion (D.E.I.) officer, as well as a sports psychologist. He addressed the access to these needs already existing on campus, but not being connected to athletics. He plans on forming connections between these programs so athletes have more direct access to them.
“Typically athletic departments bring in a high level of diversity to campus and we need to be able to support that population,” Pettit said. “The resources are already here, we need to utilize them.”
Pettit is excited for the athletic year ahead and is looking forward to getting to know the student-athletes and building a trusting bond with them.
“I want to develop those relationships to show that I’m here to help,” Pettit said. “[I want to] build a working relationship with them to be able to support them.