California dreaming, that’s what you guys are in for with this week’s University Spotlight. We are going to take a look at San Diego, where we will find the University of San Diego: the place where tennis talent Guus Koevermans graduated from last year.
Guus Koevermans – Graduated Student-Athlete
In 2016, our Slamstox tennis player exchanged Berkel en Rodenrijs for an adventure in San Diego. He became part of the ‘Toreros’, started his studies in communication and – in addition to working hard – enjoyed life in California.
Prior to joining USD, Guus had always been one of the best tennis players of his age in the Netherlands. After his high school graduation, Guus decided to play tennis full-time and internationally for a year, in which he played multiple futures. Partly due to the good results that Guus achieved that year, there was a lot of interest in him from American universities. Not surprisingly, coach Ryan Keckley and his team in San Diego turned out to be the best fit for Guus. And the rest is history: Guus became a part of the team as a player and as a coach. In 2019, the tennis team wins the West Coach Conference!
Guus didn’t get his talent from a stranger. His dad, Mark, who’s currently director of soccer club Feyenoord, was a top 40 ATP player in 1990! In that year he reached the semis at Roland Garros and two years later he reached the quarters at Wimbledon. He also once won the Davis Cup with the Dutch team. Guus’ sister Anoek is one of the best juniors in the Netherlands this year with many international experience already. It runs in the family!
Guus is not the only Dutch guy to be a Torero though. Another Dutch player will join the USD team later this year: we’re talking about our very own Stian Klaassen! Stian became the Dutch national champion U16 in 2019 and was a finalist at our ITF event hosted with Amjoy in the summer of 2020. The tennis talent, who currently lives in Canada, will transform to a Torero later this year. His recruiting process with USD and coaches Ryan and Seb recently came to a long-waited for conclusion when Stian officially committed to be a Torero. Vamos Champs!
Before we talk about the campus, let’s take a moment for the amazing city where USD is located: San Diego! The city has been voted the finest and most beautiful city in the USA for several times. San Diego still has a lot of Spanish and Mexican influences, a wonderful combination with the beautiful location in California. The best thing about the city? That is perhaps the hundred kilometers long beach with palm trees. Or the fact that it’s between 20 and 27 degrees Celsius pretty much every day. You see part of San Diego beach in the photo below. California dreaming, right?
The California fairytale, for Guus and Stian it’s the reality. But yeah, of course you don’t just become a Torero: San Diego also requires hard work and dedication. They offer amazing facilities and an incredibly beautiful campus. The school is even building a brand new tennis facility for both the men’s and women’s teams, which should be completed later this year. Have you already become jealous of Guus and Stian? No worries, we get it. Let’s keep reading…!
A part of the beautiful campus you can see in the photo below. The university has existed in its current form since 1972, it is a private university with approximately 9,000 students.
The university has one of the best athletic facilities on the West Coast. For that reason, USD has organized NCAA Tournaments in various sports several times. Let us tell you more about three great Torero facilities below:
- The Jenny Craig Pavilion is home to the male and female basketball teams, and the volleyball team also plays matches here. It offers space for 5100 spectators and in addition to the games of the Toreros, many other great sporting events were organized here.
- Torero Stadium: Football and American Football matches are played here. With 6,000 seats, a beautiful stadium for the student-athletes and their fans.
- Cunningham Field is the home of the baseball team. There is seating for almost 2000 people, but as you can see in the photo below, many more people can come and cheer!
There are many more great sports facilities on campus. What did you think of the ‘Skip and Cindy Hogan Tennis Center’, the ‘McNamara Fitness Room’, a separate weight room, a great sports pool and much more. Would you like to see more USD sports facilities? Of course! Just check out here!
A great university often includes a number of famous Americans within the portfolio of former students. Below we list a number of them:
- Jim Parsons, the actor who made ‘The Bing Bang Theory’ a success with his role as Sheldon Cooper. He has also appeared in many other films and series and won an Emmy Award and Golden Globe. In 2015, he received his own star @ the Hollywood Walk of Fame!
- Robert Kardashian. Former lawyer of OJ Simpson, but that has not given him the title of ‘notable alumni’. He has also succeeded in raising 3 daughters who have become filthy rich with… doing nothing (?). Who doesn’t know them, reality stars Kim, Kourtney and Khloé.
- Kris Bryant, a major baseball player for the Chicago Cubs. Was named ‘Rookie of the year’ and ‘Most valuable player’.
- Frances Townsend, she was the Homeland Security adviser to former President George Bush, and is now a national security analyst for CBS.
Would you like to see more about the campus? Check out this cool video!
The Toreros are part of the West Coast Conference in Division 1. The American Football team plays in the Pioneer Football League. There is a total of 17 varsity teams: 9 women’s teams and 8 men’s teams. The university colors are blue & white.
The Toreros also have a mascot. In 2006, it was up to the students to name the brand new mascot, it became ‘Diego Torero’. You can spot Diego on the right here.
The university has many conference titles to its name and one national championship: tennis player Zuzana Lesenarova won the individual title in 1999. In the final she beat Marissa Irvin, a student at Stanford!
In addition to various ‘varsity sports’, the university also has a non-varsity sport, Rugby! The home matches of the Rugby team are played at the Manchester field.
The USD teams are encouraged by, yes, their own fight song! A true tradition within College Sports in the USA. This week: a piece of the lyrics from the fights song of the Toreros!
Fight Toreros! Fight Toreros!
Show them we’ve got clout
All the teams that come to beat us
Try and try but can’t defeat us
First we size them up
Then we knock them out
Fight Toreros! Fight Toreros! On to victory!
At USD, 80 different majors are offered to all students, divided into 6 different categories:
- The College of Arts and Sciences
- School of Nursing and Health Science
- School of Business
- School of Law
- School of Leadership and Education Sciences
- School of Engineering
If you want to know whether your major is offered at USD, just have a quick look at this page.
USD can be found in some nice rankings from The Princeton Review:
- #6 on the list of most beautiful campuses
- #8 on the list of best life-environment
- #24 on the list of most sustainable universities
As you see, USD is also a great place besides academics and athletics.
Is it your dream to become a student-athlete in the USA, just like Guus and Stian? Or would you like some more information about the life of a student athlete? Reach out!