After Tennis Program Got Cut, Nitzche Found Other Ways to Be Involved With Sports

Dylan Slonka, Staff Writer

Curt Nitzsche ’23 previously played on the Men’s Tennis team, and has now found a passion in being MCLA’s new sports statistician.

For Curt Nitzsche ’23, sports is the name of the game. A longtime soccer fan and former tennis player, recently he’s taken up the mantle of being one of the “unsung heroes” of the sports community here on campus. Being a statistician isn’t the highest energy job one can have, but to him it’s an avenue to larger opportunities.

Although he currently has a job in retail, his ambitions lie in the world of sports, where he hopes to be able to have a job in sports, such as stat-keeping or recruiting.

His current position as a stat-keeper for the men’s and women’s soccer teams came to him by a chance encounter with Derek Shell, Head Coach of the Men’s Basketball team, on his way back from lunch. His interest garnered him a link to apply for the job. “I applied that day, that’s how I got into it,” he said.

Next spring, he plans to have an internship where he’ll be “not just scoring games, but behind the scenes type things, like getting points for articles written down and doing the team website and stuff like that,” he said. Next season’s focus will be on baseball.

Taking a more active role in the sports community here on campus as an “employee” of sorts will ultimately provide Nitzsche with more experience he needs to work towards his dream career. With the business management degree he’s in the process of earning, he hopes to move forward in the realm of sports management.

As a former tennis player, Nitzsche says he understands why the tennis program was cancelled (budget concerns, not as many participants), but he hopes it will return in the future. His experience as a MCLA tennis player was cut short by the pandemic. “We got to play one match before Covid happened,” he said, adding that even though the cancellation was disappointing, the match that the team played was still enjoyable.

“Last season they decided to cancel the program because there was no interest in our school and a couple days later, they announced they were going to reinstate the hockey program,” he said.

The loss of playing tennis pushed Nitzsche into a different part of college sports where he would take on a more technical role on the sidelines as opposed to being a player.

“They usually put the big sports forward,” he said. As such, his tactics changed and as his college career winds down, he’ll be gaining valuable experience by working for the college in a professional way, he hopes.

As for what the future holds, Nitzche simply wants to put himself out there. “I’m gonna look around different high schools and colleges to see what kind of sports positions they have available,” he said. In the meantime, he hopes that his job in retail will allow him to make ends meet until he can earn his sports career. But through his experiences keeping track of shots and assists, goals and shots on goal for the soccer teams here on campus, he’s taken a large step forward toward his ultimate aim of working among a team of individuals who help bring the world of sports to life for those who love the game.

“Soccer is growing in America, and going to sports, and working at the college level, the high school level, I’d like to try to be a part of that, any way that I can,” he said.