NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Catching up with Track and Field Coach Tim Foley

NECC has always been a school that offers multiple students from various different background sopportunities to decide what they want to pursue in the future.

In hopes of pursuing academic goals and a future career, many students tend to get overwhelmedover the workload they face every day, and search for different ways to refresh their minds and relieve all the stress, which is why, evidently, NECC offers many different extracurriculars to have students enjoy in their spare time outside of academics.

Athletics in particular is what many students turn their heads into in their spare times, and offers many variety sports such as soccer, baseball, and track & field.

With athletics, as well as academics getting involved in students’ lives, coaches have become the main force behind helping students focus on both and stay on track to staying focused.

Tim Foley, the Head Track and Field Coach at NECC, has been a long time coach for track and was elected to the Massachusetts Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2017 and knows the school and the system in and out.

“I enjoy coaching very much. I was a special needs teacher before I retired and feel that coaching is an extension of that and I have only coached one season so far at NECC” says Foley. “Every student athlete is different. I always try to stay positive and take the time to talk with them about their academics. Not everyone is going to excel daily or every day meet their main goals.

“Academics is essential. It’s why they are in school but life lessons are very important also. We discuss a lot of what’s going on in their lives as well as mine. We’re all in this together.”

Foley is a coach that along with maintaining focus with his coaching role, has also had experience in juggling athletics with academics and is aware of students doing the same.

One problem students and coaches face in particular with academics and athletics colliding is scheduling. Students have different classed scheduled at different times and coaches such as Foley have been aware of this.

“Recruitment at NECC is a bit different as it’s a commuter school. We have to work the practice schedule so it works with their class schedule or when they are on campus.”

“The students usually mention when they are accepted if they are interested in a particular sportso that’s how I’m able to connect with them,” he said. 

Athletics have always been something where students can focus on to get some energy off their shoulders at NECC, but there have always been some setbacks as shown.

Ultimately, throughout the last few months these setbacks have been as strong as ever for coaches, students, and staff.

“COVID has changed everything.” Foley continues. “We had a fine team returning and half of the runners opted out so we didn’t have a team this past season.”

With a hard-hitting pandemic that’s kept millions in the country out of work, workers from all around like Foley have had their jobs affected and hope that the normal life will return in amatter of time.

“After this pandemic, I hope to see things return as close to what they were before but I envision a great deal of protocols being adjusted to keep any chance of something like this better controlled.”