Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Gymnastics coach looks to earn master's degree at Southeast

Wednesday, September 6, 2017
In between practices, phone calls and emails. Southeast Women's Gymnastics head coach Kristi Ewasko works on homework for her degree program.
Photo by Olivia Grelle ~ Staff Writer

A mother, head coach and student are just three terms that describe Kristi Ewasko, who has been coaching for Southeast women's gymnastics team since 2008.

Four years ago, Ewasko decided to go back to school and get her master’s in higher education and athletic management.

“My husband, whom has three degrees, encouraged me to go and get my master’s,” Ewasko said.

With this degree Ewasko has a greater understanding of how Title IX, compliance and the NCAA all work within Southeast athletics.

“Just learning how campus safety works and that there are new student programs available, to be able to encourage my freshmen to get involved outside of their sport,” Ewasko said.

She also said she has learned about resources within Southeast she can use when needs arise, such as making sure she further understands her athletes physical and mental health and being able to reach out to the correct resources if a need arises.

She has been taking one class each semester, but this semester is taking two classes in order to graduate this coming spring. This past summer Ewasko worked as an intern in the Southeast Compliance office where she put together a PowerPoint for prospective student-athletes to watch during summer camps they would be attending. Though she enjoys coaching for now, Ewasko does have an understanding that she may not be able to coach for-ever.

“Something I have to understand is that I am getting older each year, but I will always have students four months post prom. One day there may come a time where that age gap is too wide and I can no longer understand their needs and wants,” Ewasko said.

That's where her degree can come in. She said that with this degree she can work as a senior women’s administrator, or who works in a college athletics setting. In that role she would would work with women coaches and athletes alike to accommodate for their needs and wants.

“There is a huge difference between the needs of football then women's gymnastics,” Ewasko said.

Earning this degree has not been easy though, alongside doing homework, Ewasko is coaching a team and being a mother of two children.

According to Ewasko, a typical work day for her begins with 6:30 a.m. swim practice, then coming back home to get her children off to school. Then returning to her office where she works all day and does classwork in between emails and phone calls. Then a team practice in the afternoon, after which leads to some more work. Then one to two nights a week class from 5 to 7:50 p.m., after which she returns home to tuck her kids in bed and gets ready to start the day all over again.

Ewasko said she would have never been able to earn her degree without the help and support of her husband, her assistant coaches and her team.

“They allow me to delegate task to them so I do not get overwhelmed and brought down by work,” Ewasko said.