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Summe Looks Forward to Building on Athletics Department Success

December 05, 2014

Shawn Summe  
Shawn Summe

To hear Shawn Summe tell it, he couldn’t have landed a more ideal job.

The new full-time athletic director at St. Louis Community College, Summe is wrapping up his first week on the job. He’s already pleased with what he’s seen from the department he will oversee.

“It was an opportunity to work in an environment where success can be achieved,” Summe said. “Working in a city like St. Louis is awesome. There are a large number of student-athletes here to choose from who are capable of having success here.”

Prior to joining STLCC, Summe served as the athletic director and head baseball coach at Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Fla. He also served as an assistant baseball coach at Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Ga., prior to taking over the program at Ave Maria.

Summe takes over an STLCC department that has seen no shortage of transition in recent seasons.

Since 2011, when STLCC athletics consolidated into a districtwide program, part-time managers have overseen it. From 2011-13, Johnna Kinney and Sharon Marquardt shared the duties, with Marquardt taking over sole possession of the role this fall, prior to Summe’s hiring. She will remain on staff as Summe’s assistant. Over the past four years, the Archers have seen head coaching changes in six of the school’s seven sports programs, including a suspension of the volleyball program for the 2014 season.

Through the transition, the Archers have remained competitive on the national stage in multiple sports, including women’s soccer, and men’s and women’s basketball.

That recent success has Summe carrying an optimistic viewpoint not only for the aforementioned programs, but also for the sports in a bit of a transitional phase.

“We have facilities, we have the ability to attract student-athletes, and we’re in the right spot for all of that,” he said. “The challenges here are certainly fixable. It’s going to take the department working, really, as a family. Our ultimate goal is to improve our student-athletes, to where they can advance to another (four-year) school and graduate with a degree. Our other goal is to have programs that continue to progress and win at the national level. When you look at the individual campuses, there are a lot of national championships here. We need to build on that and use that past to help us create that for the future.”

Summe has wasted no time in sowing the initial seeds of that family atmosphere. Prior to taking the reins officially on Dec. 1, Summe visited with each of his head coaches, building early relationships while developing a shared vision for each of the Archers’ programs.

Additionally, Summe has visited each of the STLCC campuses and hopes to split his time evenly among Florissant Valley, Forest Park and Meramec to allow for improved availability for student-athletes and coaches.

“I love the fact that our coaches care,” Summe said. “Our coaches really want to be successful, and that’s a big part of it. When you have coaches who want to be successful, we can begin to look at just how we’re going to do that. That just gives us such an advantage—we have a great staff. I’ve been able to spend a little bit of time with them, and look forward to a lot more of it. These coaches care about their student-athletes, and not just in their athletic endeavors, but also in their academic endeavors and in life.
What else could you want? That’s a great building block, and this is a great place to start.”