Sophomore Greg Conrad has enjoyed his fair share of success as a student-athlete at Middlebury College. But long before he donned the blue and white, Greg’s life was going full speed ahead both academically and athletically.
A product of Peabody, Massachusetts just north of Boston and a graduate of Brooks School, Greg excelled in all aspects. While there, he graduated Magna Cum Laude and was the Thomas Perkins Brooks Jr. Award recipient, given for development, leadership and responsibility. On the pitch and ice, he racked up numerous awards as an individual in both sports.
Greg has carried those aspects to Middlebury as both a Panther student and an athlete. Named just the fourth men’s soccer NESCAC Player of the Year in the program’s history as well as an all-region and All-American recipient, he was also an All-NESCAC Academic team honoree majoring in psychology with minors in sociology and theatre. At the conclusion of his soccer season, Greg had little time to relax as he stepped immediately onto the ice for the Panther men’s hockey team.
That competitive drive has certainly translated into other aspects of his life. In his “leisure time,” Greg has spent his summers as a kayak/stand up paddleboard tour guide around the islands in Rockport, Massachusetts. He also spends time on the local beaches skim boarding, surfing and fishing.
In this edition of Panther Profile, Greg talks about why he chose Middlebury, balancing a demanding schedule as a two-sport athlete, and what he has learned as both a person and an athlete from two successful head coaches.
Why did you decide to attend Middlebury?
I chose Middlebury College because I thought it was a good fit for me both academically and athletically. I really liked the idea of going to a school in the mountains and loved the community when I visited. Coach Saward and many of the Middlebury soccer alumni played a huge role in my decision.
What are some of the factors that sparked your interest in Middlebury? At what age did you hear about the school?
The first time I heard about Middlebury was my junior year in high school. One of my soccer coaches was a Middlebury alumni and really got me interested in the program. That summer, current teammate Deklan Robinson (one of my childhood friends) decided to attend Middlebury and he helped me get in touch with the soccer coaching staff and learn more about the school.
What other activities do you participate in outside of class and soccer/hockey?
Outside of class and playing soccer and hockey, I really enjoy acting and doing improv. This winter term, I will be helping out with some film projects and am looking to get involved in some on-campus improv groups.
How do you balance your academic class load with your athletic schedule?
For me, I actually do my best work when I am in season. Having a strict athletic schedule allows me to manage my time wisely and always get ahead on my work. As long as I stay on top of my academics, I never find it to be too difficult to balance the schedules.
What do you have planned for J-term, next summer, and after graduation (internship, job, etc)?
For J-Term, I am taking a course called Creating Marketing Campaigns and Building Brand Awareness. I am very interested in Marketing/Advertising and am planning on studying psychology and sociology in order to get a better understanding of the way people think. Next summer, my plan is to get an internship working for a sales/marketing company and potentially working as a bartender on the weekends.
What sorts of things are similar and different transitioning from the soccer field into the rink? Did your daily routine stay somewhat the same or were there changes?
When I transition from soccer to hockey, my schedule stays almost exactly the same. The usual practice times are at 4:45 and I am usually in the athletic center until about 7:30. The transition from running to skating is a bit difficult, but with some extra ice time, the adjustment period is not too bad.
What is it like to play for two head coaches that have been on the bench or sideline at Middlebury for a combined 58 years (David Saward and Bill Beaney)? What tidbits of information do you gather from each of them?
For me it is a real privilege to have the opportunity to work with both Coach Saward and Coach Beaney. I really enjoy working with both of their coaching styles and feel like I learn new and different information from each of them. The best part is, a lot of the information I learn applies to both sports, and helps me as both an athlete and teammate. Working with and learning from coaches with a combined 58 years of experience not only makes me a better player, but the lessons and morals they teach me on a daily basis help to shape me as a person.