Join us in welcoming Cheyenne West back to the Taylor University men’s lacrosse team as the Head Coach and Director of Lacrosse Operations. Coach West was a four year member of the team and also served as team captain and president during his time at Taylor. Learn some more about Coach in the interview below:
1. How long have you been in your position?
I started coaching at Taylor University in August 2012
2. What is your educational background?
Graduated from Taylor University with a BA in Christian Educational Ministries 2010
3. What prepared you the most for your position?
This is tough to answer. I really cannot put my finger on one instance that prepared me the most to be a coach. Rather, I look back on my life and see how everything seemed to lead me in this direction. My parents supporting my athletic career was essential. Coaches have impacted my life since the time I was 5 years old. My high school coach, Andy Bensics really had a lot of faith in me and set me up for success. Ending up at Taylor and being blessed to be the President of this program was vital to my becoming a coach. Brad Bowser and Randal Dodge were mentors to me and I continue to see their influence in my life. Faye Chechowich, my professor who oversaw my senior paper, encouraged me and helped me to develop my own Philosophy of Coaching for Christian Coaches. The Perkins family provided me with housing when I began my coaching career at Heritage Christian. Without them I would have never been able to stay in the Indianapolis area. Jeff Pinyot, a friend, mentor, and former boss, believed in me and provided me with support through my tenure at Heritage. The coaching staff at Heritage supported me and empowered me and helped to develop me. I have a fiancé, Melissa Coffey, who could not be more supportive and encouraging. President Habecker, Skip Trudea, and Steve Mortland, gave me a chance here at Taylor University. All of these people and scenarios have been vital in my preparation to be a Head Coach at the college level. I really see how throughout the years the Lord has placed people in my life throughout the years to prepare me to do His will through the sport of lacrosse. I look forward to the people the Lord will continue to place in my life.
4. What is your most challenging task?
My most challenging task will most likely be recruiting. I am looking to recruit intelligent, Christian, lacrosse players, who can be contributing members to our community here at Taylor University. We are not just looking to recruit young men to play lacrosse, and we are unwilling to compromise our standards of character, excellence in the classroom, and faith to get a student here.
5. What is your most favored and least favored task(s)?
My most favored task would have to be any task in which I am interacting with my players, or any students on campus. I also love the recruiting process, however it can be difficult for me simply because I cannot always see immediate results of my work. It takes time to get a student here. Applications, school visits, coming up with finances, and not to mention waiting for the recruits to arrive on campus is a long process. I am so excited about the students we are bringing in, I wish they could be with our team now!
6. What are the hardest decisions to make?
The hardest decisions for me are always in relation to my players. I know that every decision I make in some way will affect the development of them as men. I don’t take that responsibility lightly. So whether it be, playing time, practice plans, or the standards that I set, all of these decisions will somehow impact my players. My job is to make sure, that in the long run, the impact is a positive one.
7. Who helps you the most in accomplishing your job?
It would have to be my Assistant Coach, Dan Patrone. He has been a real blessing to our program here. He brings aspects of coaching and understanding to the table that would not necessarily be there if I were by myself. I am looking forward to his contributions in maximizing our program here at Taylor.
8. Where would you like to finish your career?
Everyone always asks me this. I never know what to say. The dream was to coach at Taylor and develop that program. I’m currently living my dream. Although I am here at Taylor, there is much to be done in regards to developing this program. I will focus on that for now, and I’m sure that my dream will continue to unfold over time.
9. Where is your Hometown?
10. How many years did you spend coaching before Taylor?
1 year as JV Head Coach/Varsity Assistant Coach at Heritage Christian high school
1 year as Varsity Offensive Coordinator at Heritage Christian high school
11. How may years of playing experience do you have?
4 years at Vincentian Academy (high school)
4 years Taylor University