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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

“Vital part of this enterprise”: Damphousse builds unique relationship with athletics department

Texas+State+soccer+head+coach+Steve+Holeman+gets+presented+the+game+ball+by+Kelly+Damphousse+after+Holemans+first+win+as+head+coach+against+the+University+of+St.+Marys+on+Aug.+18.

Texas State soccer head coach Steve Holeman gets presented the game ball by Kelly Damphousse after Holeman’s first win as head coach against the University of St. Mary’s on Aug. 18.

The start of a new university presidential term could certainly spell new changes, and for the Texas State athletics department, that could mean new expectations, new systems of operation or a heightened sense of pressure to perform.
President Kelly Damphousse, however, who took office in July, is working to avidly support Texas State Athletics and has already become heavily involved with the coaches and players of each sport. 
“My job when I meet the coaches is not just as a fan, but also to make sure they know that my job is to serve them,” Damphousse said. “We have to make sure that we have the best facilities available to students so that we can get the best students.”
Since taking office, Damphousse has wasted no time in getting to know his new athletics department. He has made it a point to meet with each head coach to discuss goals and expectations of athletics and student-athlete recruitment, but also to better know his colleagues.
Damphousse has a goal to recruit the top student athletes for Texas State Athletics, so much so that he has even met a few high school recruits himself. That level of dedication is something volleyball head coach Sean Huiet appreciates, both for the betterment of the volleyball program and its players. 
“He’s already met with a couple of our recruits and that’s something that doesn’t happen everywhere,” Huiet said. “To be able to take a top recruit into his office and say this is the president of the university … it just speaks volumes to who he is.” 
Staying connected to the student-athletes is something Damphousse has a clear focus on. He recognizes that everything begins with the students and that they deserve to play a role in how he makes his decisions. He wants them to know that they’re important, and he has a unique way of connecting with student-athletes.
“Students are a vital part of this enterprise,” Damphousse said. “We’ve started having all the fall sports come over to our house for dinner, for example, to interact with them away from the field so they get a chance to get to know me. It’s another part of the strategy to get to know students in a different way.”
Coach Huiet and his volleyball team were one of the first fall sports to visit Damphousse at his home. Huiet said that the genuine investment Damphousse puts into the student-athletes as people is evident by the way he treated them at the team dinner. 
“It’s not fake, it’s all real, he’s invested,” Huiet said. “When we went to dinner at his house, he sat with all of the athletes and was asking them real questions to get to know them, like what scared them or made them nervous, what could they do to make this year better.”
His investment in student-athletes can also be seen in his support for Texas State soccer. Damphousse has attended multiple home soccer games and presented the game ball to soccer head coach Steve Holeman after the team’s first win of the season on Aug. 18. 
After the soccer team’s first road win against Texas A&M Corpus Christi on Aug. 25, Damphousse personally greeted and congratulated each soccer player upon their arrival back in San Marcos. A video posted to the Texas State soccer Instagram shows Damphousse shaking hands with and fist-bumping each player who steps off of the bus.
Holeman said that he would’ve been happy with a simple text, but the fact he went out of his way to shake hands with the players so late in the night speaks to his commitment to the athletics department and its students. 
“We had just won our first road game and I’m on the bus riding back, it’s pretty late,”  Holeman said. “We pull up, get off the bus and there he is, at the bus door shaking everyone’s hand saying congratulations.”
That level of support is something that is also appreciated by men’s basketball head coach Terrence Johnson, who has been on the coaching staff since the 2015-16 season.
“He’s a sports guy, he’s very supportive,” Johnson said. “That’s what you want, the human side of people.”
The president of a university the size of Texas State has a lot of responsibilities, a lot of power and a full schedule. It’s uncommon to see a president out and about mingling with students and staff in a boots-on-the-ground fashion. 
Because of this, Damphousse has made time to get to know just about everyone and everything.
“It has been awesome, just the support and what he does for our student-athletes and how he makes them feel,” Huiet said. “He is involved in everything, he and his wife are at everything. I even asked them when we were at their house for dinner, ‘when do y’all sleep?'”

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