Though a few more weeks remain before classes officially begin, over 60 student athletes are already on the Walla Walla University campus developing team camaraderie and preparing for their seasons. Ninety-six student athletes in total will play for WWU this year.
Nestor Osorio, athletics director at WWU, has noticed much joy and excitement among the students and has observed many newcomers behaving as if they’ve already known their teammates for years. Alongside many returning coaches, the program is excited to welcome Mason Palmer as its new head golf coach and Jennifer Goodwin as its new women’s cross country coach.
This year, WWU was named a five-star school in champions of character for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) for the first time. According to Osorio, the NAIA’s values of integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership align directly with WWU’s vision for its athletic program.
Servant leadership will be a central focus for the program during the upcoming school year. He explained that the many community service initiatives and spiritual retreats planned will bring the team members closer to God and to one another. “Our goal is to place Christ at the center of our program,” said Osorio.
With an overall program grade point average of 3.32—one of the highest among collegiate student athletes in the country—and a growing program with 15 percent more athletes than last year, the WWU student athletes are joining teams that pursue excellence not only on the court, but in academics and emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
Maintaining a mission-centered approach, the WWU athletics program promotes a healthy, balanced life—body, mind, and soul—for their athletes through sport. Athletic opportunities include men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross-country, men’s and women’s golf, men’s soccer, and women’s volleyball. Soccer and volleyball games are already underway this season. Find the schedule to attend a game at uwolves.com.
Posted Aug. 30, 2023