Inside the Life of a Graduate Assistant: Ux Edition

– Ben Weber (Defiance, OH)

baseball1We see them around at practice, we see them at the café, and all around campus. They are close to us in age and we look up to them as mentors. Of course I am talking about the sports GAs (Graduate Assistant). Graduate Assistants go above and beyond the role of a student athlete, as they are student coaches who get piled up with school work and on top of their duties as coaches.

Xander Uxley is the current Graduate Assistant for the baseball team, and is on his second year coaching for the Yellow Jackets.


Coach Ux is an Ohio native, hailing from Pickerington, where he later played infield at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio. After his playing career was over, he quickly gained interest in coaching after a summer of coaching a high school summer team. He wanted to become a GA to earn his Master of Arts in Education, while continuing to gain education in baseball as a coach.

In an interview with Coach Ux, I gained a good understanding of what it takes to be a GA. As student athletes, we do not know a lot about what happens behind the scenes of our sports programs. A year of coaching can be split into two different seasons. One being the “Off Season”, when the team is not playing, and the “In Season”. Both seasons have a load of work that a GA coach is responsible for, and a lot that work load being recruiting of future student athletes.

Recruiting for our GA’s is a year round event. On top of the cold calls, analyzing stats, and setting up visits. Coach Ux has to travel to different showcases, games, and camps; around Ohio and the surrounding states. So, the recruiting process is very time consuming for the GA’s of all sports.

A few of the other Off Season duties that Coach Ux is in charge of include: grade checks, working camps/ clinics, and organizing strength and conditioning plans. Student Athletes might not think that much of the off season, since we may not be practicing, but there is a lot more to the picture than what we see.

When the baseball team is in season Coach Ux is a position players coach, 1st base coach, and throws BP during practice or before games. He enjoys working with players in the hitting cage, and helping them analyze their swings through filming.

Another very important duty that Coach Ux is in charge of is making a scouting report on the other teams we play. Scouting reports are not made by themselves, they take time and effort of looking up the stats of opposing teams and also looking through statistic charts that were taken the previous spring. All of these duties can add up over the course of a year, especially with work from classes being piled on also.

Looking back on what I learned from interviewing a Coach Uxley, I can say that most of us might not appreciate GA’s as much as we should. With all of the different duties and jobs that GA’s are given, it is amazing that they have any sort of free time to live life. But they do this to makes us student athletes better, and to make the future of our sports programs better. I personally have gained my appreciation for our Defiance College GA’s. All of the hard work and effort that they put into us without us knowing it, really shows that they care and want what is best for us. The life of a GA is not an easy one, and they do a lot more behind the scenes than we give them credit for.

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