Teresa DeBoard is the assistant athletic director for student-athlete well-being at Oklahoma Christian University. After graduating from Oklahoma Christian, DeBoard realized she had a passion for student-athletes and channeled that passion into her position within the athletic department.
What first brought you to Oklahoma Christian?
I came to OC as a freshman in 1996. My brother came to OC two years before, and I had grown up around the school through camps and basketball.
What was your favorite part about being a student at Oklahoma Christian?
My favorite part about being a student day to day was being a part of Theta and the friends I made through that and playing intramurals. But hands down the best experience I had, literally life changing, was when I studied abroad in Vienna my junior year.
What was your major and why?
My major was psychology with two minors, one in family studies and the other vocational ministry. Quite honestly, because I was a first-time college graduate in my family, I had no idea what options I had for a major, and psychology always interested me. I enjoy understanding people, their perspectives and what makes people who they are.
What made you want to work with athletes?
After I graduated, I worked somewhere else for a year. Then Risa Forrester and Darci Thompson encouraged me to apply for a job in admissions. Apparently, it worked out because I worked in admissions for 13 years and worked my way up to a director position. I have always loved watching and playing sports throughout my entire life so I decided to apply for a job in athletics and created relationships on this side of campus. I love working with current students and helping them find their path within athletics and then after.
How did you get involved with the athletic department?
OC was going through the process of transitioning into the NCAA from NAIA. Within the NCAA, every institution across all divisions is required to have an SWA (senior woman administrator). Because of my previous experience and relationships I had built, I was encouraged to apply for the position of Assistant AD/SWA.
What’s your favorite part about working with athletes?
My favorite part of working with athletes is creating those relationships and helping them succeed whether in competition or in the classroom. I am pretty competitive myself, so I love going out and supporting them and watching them compete as well.
What’s the hardest part?
The hardest part is balancing all the student-athletes we have with our limited time and staff. I never want to let someone slip through the cracks, but as we have grown in our student-athlete number that has become more difficult. I absolutely hate having to tell an athlete they are not eligible to compete that upcoming season for whatever reason.
What has been your most memorable experience either as a student or faculty member at OC?
My most memorable experience as a student is hands down my Vienna Studies experience. I cannot overstate the life changing relationships and experiences I was afforded. My most memorable experience as a staff member is not one thing. My relationships with those that I have worked with over the years is priceless. When working in admissions through my twenties with great friends and traveling all over the country, those are times that I would love to relive. What it gave me was friendships that I know will last a lifetime. Also, since being in athletics I have loved the opportunity to work in such close proximity to my brother, Rick Judd, who is the intramural director.