STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: COULTER BABCOCK
Coulter Babcock isn’t the first member of his family to study Sport Management at Durham College (DC).
That distinction belongs to his uncle Brent Fisher, a 2007 graduate of the program who went on to a successful career as marketing director for the Ontario Hockey League’s Owen Sound Attack.
So, when Babcock (a lifelong sports fan and standout baseball player) was considering his post-secondary options, the choice was easy.
“Since the day I was born, sports have been everything I’ve ever lived for,” he said. “Whether it’s coaching, playing, or learning, it’s all I ever wanted to do. It’s all I ever will do.”
The first stop on his educational journey took him south of the border, where his skills on the baseball diamond earned him a spot on the team at Prairie State College in Chicago while he studied physical therapy. An unfortunate injury ended his tenure there prematurely, and he returned home.
Having heard so much about his uncle’s experience at DC, his next step was an obvious one.
“He definitely inspired me to take this program and kind of follow in his footsteps, but take it my own way.”
Since arriving at DC in September of last year, Babcock has benefitted from his uncle’s experience. They often speak to discuss assignments, and he has connected his nephew with a number of other graduates of the program who have their own wisdom to impart.
Having spent so much time playing sports like baseball, basketball and curling, he has relished the opportunity to learn about what goes into making the action possible.
“I love being able to see what it takes to run a team. A lot of people on the outside think it’s all about the players, but a lot of stuff goes on behind the scenes and that’s what I really enjoy.”
He’s not alone. Babcock and his uncle are just two of the thousands of students who have benefitted from the program since its inception over 50 years ago. Introduced in 1972, it’s Canada’s longest running program of its kind according to program coordinator and professor Sheldon Koufman. Its alumni have gone on to work internationally at all levels of the sports business, from Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment to the National Football League and beyond.
“The program never gets stale,” said Koufman. “We continuously update the curriculum to meet the needs of industry and current students.”
A number of those alumni have given back to the program over the years. They’ve served on program advisory committees, shared their knowledge and experience with new students, and even hired graduates right out of school.
For Babcock, his path is clear. He’ll complete the program at DC and, if possible, return to the baseball diamond with the Durham Lords. But regardless of his own athletic future, he intends to continue his education in university with the goal of becoming a sports psychologist. Recognizing the stigma that still surrounds mental health, particularly in the world of professional sports, he is eager to make a difference.
“I’m a big advocate for men’s mental health. I’ve done a lot of work with Bell Let’s Talk,” he said. “Being able to be there for the athletes, to get them ready for games and ready for life, that’s always interested me.”
Learning all about the business of sports at DC will give him the perspective he needs to understand the people he’ll be helping, whether they’re on the field or the sidelines.