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SUNY and the Road to the Next Level



Drew Smith of UAlbany and Miguel Maysonet of Stony Brook with the NFL Bill and BrownsSUNY athletic departments strive to provide preparation and knowledge to succeed at the next level. Throughout SUNY’s 64 campuses, they provide collegiate athletic programs ranging from Division III, up to Division I. Being able to make it to the next level after playing college ball is an achievement, but talent is not the only thing needed in order to achieve success. SUNY allows students to not only be physically ready for the next level, but mentally as well. Many SUNY colleges are nationally ranked for their education, and this provides that extra edge needed to accomplish goals at the next level.

Athletes work harder and harder every year, and our athletic programs grow because of it. Recently, SUNY football has had some collegiate players attempt success on the next level. Miguel Maysonet, a recent Stony Brook Alum, achieved many awards throughout his time in Stony Brook. One of these prestigious awards was the “All Purpose Award” within his conference.

Drew Smith, a former University at Albany running back who decided to pursue his dream of making it to the NFL, agreed to talk with us and tell us a bit about how his time in college football compared and helped him with his journey to the NFL.

The move from college to pro

Playing at the NFL level has its major differences when being compared to college football. The experience received at the college level does factor in and help a player progress into the next level. We asked Drew Smith how his experience was, and how exactly it differed from the NFL:

“It was a blast, playing under Coach Ford was an honor. I was lucky enough to win a couple Conference championships there too. It definitely differs from NFL programs, the talent in the NFL is out of this world. Everyone is extremely talented. The main difference is the speed of the game, adjusting to the speed is the hardest part. Playbooks are the same and that wasn’t difficult to adjust. I have seen similar size guys, but not guys that can move that quickly.”

SUNY tries to prepare its athletes as best as possible if they were to choose to continue their athletic careers. We asked, did the University at Albany prepare you for the next level?

“Absolutely, scheduling CAA teams definitely helped me adjust, they are harder teams and that worked out well for me. Our coaching staff and Bob Ford knew exactly what they were doing. Coach Ford is a genius and helped me out a ton.”

Being a rookie and adjusting to a new program is very difficult. Making the leap to an NFL program takes time to adjust. What is it like being a rookie in training camp?

“It was definitely tough, but fun at the same time. Of course I had to go through rookie initiations like eating a couple of gross things, and doing rookie talent shows, but I understand it. I understand NFL teams are fraternities. Even with all of the rookie stuff every player does take you seriously. They respect you and are trying to do the same thing you are, trying to feed their families. Overall it was tough, but obviously I had a lot of fun at the same time.”

Every young kid playing football dreams of one day playing in the NFL. There is no other realization than signing an actual contract. What does it feel like to sign an NFL contract?

“Surreal, not really something I can explain with words. As a kid you dream of playing in the NFL, once you get that phone call it really is out of this world. Complete shock. I was able play a kids game for a living, and do what I love every single day.”

Laying out goals for yourself is extremely important. Striving to meet and surpass those goals keep players going. Do you have any upcoming goals for yourself Drew?

“Playing in the NFL is hard; making it there is no joke. The hardest part is staying in the NFL. After you get the first taste it’s always a goal to keep playing. The average player survives about 3.7 years in the NFL, my goal is to beat that, and make a name for myself.”

Finally, with the experience in hand of getting to that next level, Is there any advice you can give to aspiring NFL athletes?

“My main advice is to make sure you work hard. You want to make as many great relationships as possible and be close with your teammates. These guys are constantly in the media talking to everyone and giving interviews. Be kind, do nice things and make a name for yourself. But the main thing is to ALWAYS work hard.”

We continue to root for SUNY athletes to succeed at the next level. SUNY will always prepare student athletes for the best and help them achieve their goals!

September 27, 2013

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Mascot Madness Champion, Hugo the Hawk, Speaks on His Victory and Getting Back to Work




SUNY Mascot Madness winner - Hugo Hawk from New PaltzThe first ever SUNY Mascot Madness came to a close yesterday with over 300,000 votes cast over the entire competition.  In a race that was too close to call initially, Hugo the Hawk from New Paltz was declared the winner of the first SUNY Mascot Madness over Wolfie the Seawolf from Stony Brook.  In a race to the finish, he met the library dean, cleaned the campus, and hung out with many students on campus.

We were able to catch up with Hugo and get his thoughts on the final round of the competition.

What responsibilities do you carry as SUNY Mascot Madness 2013 Champion?  What’s next for you?

As the SUNY Mascot Madness 2013 Champion, it is my duty to represent all that this title stands for. I will continue being the best mascot I can possibly be and keep getting better at it each day.

What will you do with all of your free time once SUNY Mascot Madness 2013 is complete?

With this free time I will get back to the basics. I will work on my cheers and dances and keep myself in tip-top shape for all the teams I root for. I will work hard to earn my place in next year’s tournament and make sure I do my best to defend my crown.


And we look forward to next year’s competition with you Hugo!

Hugo Hawk with Mascot Madness championship trophy

Emily Schwartz

Written by Emily Schwartz

Emily Schwartz is the Coordinator of Open SUNY Communication and Projects.

April 5, 2013

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Bobby Hurley Named University at Buffalo Men’s Basketball Head Coach




Bobby Hurley has been named the 12th head men's basketball coach at the University at Buffalo.

Bobby Hurley has been named the 12th head men’s basketball coach at the University at Buffalo.

Bobby Hurley, one of the most iconic figures in college basketball history, has been named the 12th head men’s basketball coach at the University at Buffalo.

He joins UB from the University of Rhode Island, where he has been serving as associate head coach. He was hired as an assistant coach at Wagner College in 2010, and spent two seasons with the Seahawks, playing a critical role in rebuilding the men’s basketball team. He helped lead Wagner to a 25-6 record during the 2011-12 season – its best record in school history – before joining Rhode Island.

A first-team All-American in 1993, Hurley is best remembered for being the point guard at Duke. Hurley helped lead the Blue Devils to three Final Four appearances and consecutive national championships in 1991 and 1992. Hurley still holds the NCAA record for career assists with 1,076.

Following his outstanding career at Duke, Hurley was selected by the Sacramento Kings with the seventh pick in the 1993 NBA Draft. He went on to play five years in the NBA with the Kings and Vancouver Grizzlies.

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SUNY Oneonta Senior Sets Off on 4,200-Mile Cross-Country Bike Adventure




Jayme Haynes biking in Central Bridge on her cross country adventure

Jami Haynes sets off from her home in Central Bridge, NY, on Tuesday, May 28.

SUNY Oneonta senior Jami Haynes set off on a 4,200-mile, cross-country bike adventure today with the goal of raising awareness about the Harvest of Hope Foundation, an organization that provides emergency assistance to migrant workers and their families. Haynes, 21, accompanied by her boyfriend and sister, left early Tuesday morning from her home in Central Bridge, N.Y.

An avid runner and hiker, Haynes got the idea for the “Miles for Migrants” bike tour after Harvest of Hope founder and President Phil Kellerman visited one of her education classes, taught by Madeline Berry, this past semester. Her 20-year-old sister, Jena, signed on for the adventure, and then her boyfriend, Caleb Grippin, 23, joined the team.

Jena Haynes, Caleb Grippin, Jami Haynes with bikes

SUNY Oneonta student Jami Haynes (right) with her sister, Jena, and boyfriend, Caleb Grippin.

“I wasn’t very familiar with what a migrant farm worker was and how they contributed to American society, and I was especially touched as a future educator by the support that Harvest of Hope gives to these families and the scholarships that the foundation provides,” Haynes said.

The class did a service-learning project to benefit Harvest of Hope, and Haynes kept the momentum going. She and her sister organized a spaghetti supper, several bake sales and a raffle, as well as giving presentations about Harvest of Hope on campus and in the community. “Spreading awareness of the foundation and how it helps migrant farm workers has been extremely rewarding,” Haynes said. “The community definitely knows a lot more about the contributions of migrant workers because of this project.”

Haynes hopes to continue raising awareness by meeting with media outlets during her journey. The trio plans to ride about 60 to 80 miles per day, camping and staying with friends and family members en route to San Francisco. They have been training for the trip for about three months, logging several hundred miles of short and long rides.

The Harvest of Hope Foundation was established in 1997, when Kellerman worked at ESCORT, a migrant education resource center based at SUNY Oneonta. In addition to its affiliation with ESCORT, SUNY Oneonta has operated a College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) since 2001. Created in 1972, CAMP is a federally-funded scholarship program that helps students from migrant and seasonal farm-working families pursue higher education.

ESCORT senior programmer analyst Bob Thomas, a friend of Kellerman’s, loaned Haynes and her crew three touring bikes and trailers. Thomas, who completed a cross-country bicycling trip himself back in 1976, was on hand for the send-off Tuesday, offering last-minute tips and advice.

An elementary education major with a concentration in social studies, Haynes will share experiences from her trip this fall as a student teacher at Cobleskill Elementary School.

She will also chronicle her adventures throughout the 11-week journey on the blog:


SUNY Oneonta

May 28, 2013

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