Catching up with DePaul Cross Country and Track Letterwinner Robert Geiger
Sept. 23, 2010
Catching up with Robert Geiger
Our new weekly feature "Catching Up With..." allows DePaul letterwinners a chance to tell the DePaul community a little bit about themselves, a brief reflection on their time as a Blue Demon student-athlete and where they have gone since stepping off the court, field or diamond.
Name: Robert Geiger
Sport(s): Cross Country & Track, 1988 -1991
What does being a DePaul Letterwinner mean to you?
It brings about a sense of accomplishment and pride that I am part of a small group. As a coach, I often run into other former DePaul Cross Country and Track runners who are now in the coaching field. There are perhaps more former DePaul runners coaching than almost any other College or University from Illinois. It's a neat little fraternity to be a part of.
Why did you choose DePaul?
It was close to home and when I visited there I felt like everyone was giving me the message that I could accomplish my goals of competing and receiving my degree. Prior to my senior year in high school, I wasn't sure that college was an option for me. Everywhere at DePaul, I felt like there were folks all around me who were very positive and always trying to give a little to help me a lot.
What was your favorite memory while at DePaul?
I enjoyed the time I spent with my teammates, especially on the long road trips and long runs along the lakefront.
What did receiving a scholarship from DePaul mean to you?
Everything. Without it I was not going to go to college, I was going to join the military.
Brief Summary of your life from graduation till now:
I only ran three years at DePaul and didn't run my senior year because of nagging injuries and burnout. A year after, I began running again with a group of Chicago runners in the Lincoln Park area and we eventually became sponsored by Adidas. I began High School coaching a year later and have been coaching for 20 years now. This past season was a highlight for me in my coaching career as I coached the first ever (female) State Champion from the Chicago Public League in Cross Country. She went on to win the 3200 meters in track, and her teammate won the 400-meter race. Our Cross Country team (Whitney Young) finished 14th in state and our track team finished 5th.
I've coached former DePaul athletes' children, Joe Vogenthaler's (Track-XC) daughter Jamie. Next year I will be coaching Michelle Monticello's (Volleyball) daughter Claire, who is now an 8th grader at Whitney Young's academic center.
In 2004, I began a website for Illinois High School Track & Field called illinoispreptoptimes.com. In 2008 it was bought by Student Sports (Dyestat.com) and in May of 2008 it was purchased by ESPN. In addition to teaching and coaching at Whitney Young, I am now the Illinois High School track & cross country editor for ESPNRISE.com. It's been a great experience covering track in field not only in Illinois, but nationally as well.
Is there a recent highlight that you would like to share with Alumni and friends of DePaul Athletics?
I recently rejoined a group of former (Adidas) teammates to run the Hood to Coast relay, a 196-mile relay race from Mt. Hood, Oregon to Seaside, Oregon. I still run marathons, and have qualified for the Boston Marathon three times.
What advice would you give to a current or future student-athlete?
Take advantage of the opportunity you have right now. It goes by quicker than you think and you never will get the chance to go back and do it over again. Be in control of your attitude and your emotions. That will help you accomplish your goals. To allow your emotions to be controlled by someone else or an outside influence takes away what makes you, you. Don't let your attitude be the same as anyone around you. If you have a positive attitude, you're a much stronger than a person with a negative attitude. If you have a negative attitude, by all means, keep it to yourself and look to make changes in your life that will make you happier. That will be a benefit to everyone.
Travel destination: Australia & Hawaii. For the past two years, I've been the Illinois Cross Country coach for the Down Under Games, and we compete in Australia and spend 3 days in Hawaii for some R & R.
Books: Born to Run by Christopher McDougall is what I'm currently reading and two of my favorites are It's Not About the Bike by Lance Armstrong and How to Succeed in Lafe and Sport by Dan Millman.
Movie: Shawshank Redemption.
Sports movie: Without Limits.
Quote: "Great athletes are not great because of their talent, they are great because of their passion." Unknown
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